Bedford’s support and training for newly qualified teachers really stands out. While some local authorities do little more than register new teachers and their assessment performance, Bedford Borough Council actively seeks out the needs of its new teachers and delivers tailored support.
NQTs gain 10 per cent more non-teaching time than experienced teachers, and teachers in Bedford are encouraged to make the most of this opportunity. NQTs spend time observing other teachers, gaining insight into addressing special educational needs and regularly meeting with a mentor. In Bedford, they also participate in a formal induction programme.
In addition to this, Bedford Borough Council woks with the Teaching Schools to run optional training sessions on a range of subjects. These are designed to help NQTs adjust to their
new roles and focus on areas that may not have received as much attention during formal training. These might include ‘managing parents’ or support with addressing behaviour issues. These courses are delivered at no cost to schools.
NQTs also have the opportunity to have an ‘exchange’ with a fellow teacher. Spending a day shadowing a peer gives a great insight into how different schools operate and is a perfect opportunity to build new contacts.
Once you have completed your year as an NQT, the support continues. Courses such as ‘Beyond NQT: Survive and Thrive’ will help you hone your skills and work towards leadership positions.