We've received advice from the Department for Education (DfE) regarding the disruption of the Newly Qualified Teachers (NQT) statutory induction period, due to school closures in response to COVID-19 (Coronavirus).
We'll be making regulatory changes that, subject to parliamentary agreement, will mean that NQTs absent for reasons related to the current COVID-19 public health emergency will not have their induction period automatically extended.
Current arrangements state that absences are permitted, but if absences exceed a total period of 30 days, the induction will normally be extended by the aggregate total of days absent, allowing NQTs to finish their induction programmes as well as time to demonstrate meeting the Teachers’ Standards.
We intend to amend the regulations to ensure that any absence related to the current COVID-19 public health emergency, including school closures, sickness or self-isolation, will not count towards this limit. This means that NQTs who are currently undertaking statutory induction can complete their induction this academic year as expected, provided they meet the Teachers’ Standards.
Head teachers and appropriate bodies should continue to judge whether a NQT has met the Teachers’ Standards upon completion of the induction period, which for most will be the end of the academic year.
If there are concerns that a NQT has not achieved the standards by the end of their induction period, we would strongly encourage headteachers and appropriate bodies to exercise their discretion to recommend an extension, allowing the NQT further time and opportunity to demonstrate their ability to meet the standards.