NQT position 'requires improvement' Watch

peppermintsweets
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What are the implications for working in a RI school carrying out my NQT? Not sure if I should apply for a job within a school rated as RI. What are the implications/positives?
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Mr M
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Obviously, this school might offer exceptional support and be a lovely place to work but, if you are in the position to pick and choose, I'd go for a 'Good/Outstanding' school for a first job.
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ByEeek
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(Original post by peppermintsweets)
What are the implications for working in a RI school carrying out my NQT? Not sure if I should apply for a job within a school rated as RI. What are the implications/positives?
I have only every taught in Outstanding schools. The only experience I had at a RI school was an interview and the behaviour of the kids was a nightmare. I was talking to a trainee today and he was reflecting on his last placement at an RI school and comparing it to the one we are now at. He was saying that there was not much structure in his RI school so it was down to individual teachers to decide how to deal with lack of homework or behaviour in their classroom. By contrast all the outstanding schools I have been in have had whole school approaches to behaviour and homework and standards and expectations which just makes life easier.

From an NQT point of view, you are legally entitled to a certain number of hours training throughout the year, weekly mentor meetings and 6 observations through the year to ensure you are meeting the standards and are supported. By all means interview for a post at an RI school, but make sure you ask in your interview for details of their NQT programme. Some schools offer little or nothing but you have a right to this so little or nothing is not acceptable. After interviewing at the RI school, I vowed to only interview for Outstanding schools. Why settle for less, especially in the formative part of your career. You have the rest of your life to rescue the hardest to reach students and turn around struggling schools.

That said, I have heard many things about RI schools having staff that stick together and look out for each other even if there is little support from SLT. By contrast, we have high expecations put on us and a very corporate culture with boxes to fill in and tick here, there and everywhere.

Good luck!
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Dalightfool
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I'm going to play devil's advocate here and make the case for not writing off RI schools.

I completed my first SBT at a school which is RI across the board. My impressions?

Leadership - there was direction, and we were all singing from the same hymn sheet, but perhaps high liquidity of senior staff (including head) in recent years contributed to a sense of fragility and didn't help the school much at inspection. In reality, the senior leaders were professional, knowledgable and up-to-date with research and trends in ed.

Teaching and learning - in my department, it was varied. There was a lack of consistency here, and that might have been one of the reasons progress 8 score was down on previous years. Individual teachers had their own style, and made it work for their pupils, but cross-departmentally and cross-school, it may have been an area of weakness. Consistency up to a point, is essential, but individuality equally important. It's abouit striking that balance. An RI school is potentially on the cusp of striking that balance, and you could be the person to help achieve that. Great for CV and career development.

Behaviour - lots of low level disruption, which was a challenge, but ultimately has given me some serious confidence walking into my next placement. I have developed so many strategies for classroom management and that is invaluable because even in good and outstanding schools, you will be given classes where serious behaviour problems (low level and high level) are present / possible. If you develop ability in this area, you will always have it, and it is worth spending a year somewhere 'tough' to have those strategies to deploy. Ultimately, the behaviour was low-level and really nothing 'horrible' ever happened - that is not the same for an outstanding school I worked in as a TA - less low level stuff, but fairly frequent 'kick offs' and 'lessons being destroyed by boisterous characters on bad days'. Really, you cannot judge how a school's behavioural climate will be just by looking at ofsted report. Maybe the reason the school received RI was because it has no clearly effective behaviour policy - but that doesn't change how the kids behave - that is more to do with area, community, aspirations, etc.

Outcomes - well, progress can have dips, and that is something that needs to be sorted out - but there are so many factors which contribute towards a drop in progress, you can't pinpoint it on teaching or management alone. It can be cohort based, perhaps. Don't read into this too much, but I would see a school with rocky progress as an opportunity to put your best practice into the school and see how you can positively impact the kids. If progress is already outstanding, you will be under insane pressure, and chances are the school will be teaching to the test, so you won't be developing broadly as a teacher.

Just my two cents, of course I am playing devil's advocate here, but don't write off a school just because of an inspection that may have been carried out years ago. A lot can change in a year, and 'atmosphere' counts for a lot when you have to go somewhere everyday.
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bwilliams
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Don't take an RI at face value, visit the school, speak to staff, speak to children. You'll learn a lot from being in a school that is in improvement. Behaviour may be an issue but because a school is in RI does not mean it will be an asylum, I think some people are generalising isolated incidents. Plus, OFSTED's new inspection framework is out for consultation and is very likely to be coming in by September 2019. The current framework is very focussed on outcomes and data - this is why the majority of schools are RI. The new framework takes a step back from outcomes and actually gets rid of the grade mark "Outcomes for pupils" altogether. There will now be much more focus on the broader curriculum and personal development of children.
(Original post by Dalightfool)
Just my two cents, of course I am playing devil's advocate here, but don't write off a school just because of an inspection that may have been carried out years ago. A lot can change in a year, and 'atmosphere' counts for a lot when you have to go somewhere everyday.
^ This is some great advice. I've seen many 'outstanding' schools that have no sense of humour and the atmosphere is rubbish, and if you can't have a laugh when something goes wrong, then you have nothing.

My advice would be to visit a school, ask questions and get a 'feel' for the school at interview. If you like it, go for it. Ruling out schools because they have an RI grading, NQT or not, would be a silly thing to do. As above, ask about NQT process at the school, ask to speak to the NQT mentor and have an informal chat with them about how it all works, every school is different.

Don't forget - most children will not have a choice of what school they go to whether it is RI or not, so who are we to judge?
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