Barnsley NQTs

Great tips and advice.

Below is a collection of our posts for Newly Qualified Teachers. Contact your rep or for more information.

Early Career Teachers – 

Courses are available throughout the year to support you CPD requirements.

They will help support and develop many of the following points:

  • better understand pedagogy and relationships;
  • identify further behaviour/classroom organisation strategies that work;
  • explore communication, power and the language of choice;
  • extend your knowledge and understanding of different types of behaviour;
  • prepare lessons which move pupils on in their learning;
  • address attainment inequalities;
  • prepare a small project/profile focusing on a group of learners of your choice.

Who should apply: NQTs in their induction year of teaching and teachers in their first three years of teaching.

For more information, visit the NEU  website.

School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions Document (STCPD)

If you work in a local authority maintained school in England or Wales, your working time obligations are set out in the School teachers’ Pay and Conditions Document (STCPD), published each year by the DfE. The law requires schools to abide by its provisions on what you can and cannot be required to do and by its limits on your total working time.

Although academies are not required by law to follow the STPCD’s provisions, most do so. If you work in an academy, however, you should make sure you know about your working time obligations. NEU policy on workload is set out to support you in the same way it supports any other member. Do not hesitate to contact your NEU rep or contact the NEU for support and advice.

For full-time teachers, the STPCD says that:

  • you may be directed to work for a maximum of 1,265 hours per year, spread over up to 195 days when you must be available for work (including five non-pupil days)
  • your directed time should be allocated reasonably throughout the school year by your head teacher
  • you must work “such additional hours as may be necessary to discharge effectively your professional duties”, but such additional hours must be reasonable.

NQT Guide to NEU  Workload Policy

The NEU will support members who collectively wish to challenge unnecessary workload in their schools. Talk to your rep if you think that there are issues which should be taken up collectively with the head teacher. Go to the Reduce the Workload section of this website for further guidance and useful tools.


Administrative and clerical tasks

Teachers should have appropriate support so that they can focus on teaching and learning. They should expect administrative and clerical tasks to be carried out by support staff. In some cases, teachers will need to exercise their judgement in deciding whether a particular task requires their professional skills. For example, it is up to the individual teacher to decide whether putting up and maintaining displays is a task which requires their professional skills or whether it is an administrative task that should be transferred to support staff.


  • planning is the professional responsibility of all individual teachers, who plan by taking into account the particular needs of their class or groups
  • plans should be ‘fit for purpose’. They should be useful to individual teachers and reflect what they need to support their teaching of particular classes. Teachers should not be directed to ‘hand-in’ plans
  • plans should be kept to a minimum length. They can be set out in the form of bullet points or notes, including how learning objectives will be achieved. This is entirely a matter of professional judgement
  • plans should be updated only when necessary and not more than once a year
  • plans are working documents and it is the content rather than the presentation which is important. Separate weekly and daily lesson plans are not necessary. Annotations or Pot-it notes can be used to convert medium-term plans into lesson plans
  • with the exception of some children with specific needs, lesson plans for individual pupils are not necessary. Differentiation or personalised learning approaches for individuals or groups of pupils do not require individualised planning. This can be highlighted on teachers’ main planning documents
  • planning should be perceived by teachers to be useful to them in their teaching. There should be no requirement for teachers to prepare them in retrospect


  • marking is a professional activity which should be undertaken by teachers in accordance with their knowledge and expertise. Marking should be consistent and supportive of learning. It can be undertaken by the teacher alone and with the involvement of pupils. Regular marking informs teacher planning and assessment
  • teachers should be able to exercise their professional autonomy as to the frequency and type of marking that is appropriate. Teachers should not come under pressure to mark in too detailed a way. They should use their own professional judgement
  • excessive requirements such as ‘deep’, ‘double’ or ‘triple’ marking, in which the teacher writes detailed feedback, the pupil responds and then the teacher comments again, are unnecessary and can undermine teachers’ professional autonomy as well as causing additional workload. ‘Book looks’, in which the marking inside a book is checked, should be kept to a minimum
  • following NEU pressure, the Government now recommends “sparing use of more detailed marking and written feedback”. Ofsted has made clear that schools should determine their own marking practices and that in particular it does not expect to see a written record of oral feedback.


NEU policy is that meetings should last no more than 60 minutes and be held on no more than an average of one evening per week during a term, with a maximum of two evenings in any week.

Teachers cannot be required to take verbatim notes or produce formal minutes of meetings.

Parents’ evenings

Parents’ evenings are not subject to the 60 minutes maximum. However, during the week of parents’ evenings, there should be no more than one further evening call on teachers.

Reports on pupils

You should not be expected to write more than one report on each pupil per academic year.

Classroom observations

Excessive classroom observation is a serious problem in many schools. The various purposes for which observations may be required have meant that in some schools the total number of observations has climbed. The context in which they are carried out can be felt to be hostile rather than supportive.

NEU policy is that a teacher should be subject to no more than three classroom observations per year, for all purposes The total time occupied by such observations should not exceed three hours per year.

Newly qualified teachers are not subject to appraisal. You should be aware, however, that there are other purposes for which classroom observation may be used. It is good practice for observations to be carried out to achieve a range of objectives at the same time.

Drop-ins and learning walks should not be used for the purposes of appraisal. They should be for other clearly defined purposes and consulted upon in advance with teachers.

Class sizes

Oversized classes add significantly to the workload of teachers. Support is available from the NEU for negotiations to reduce class sizes. Where such negotiations are not successful, industrial action will be considered if the class sizes exceed the limits set out below:

  • 26 pupils in the case of early years foundation stage classes with one teacher and a support staff member with minimum NVQ level 3 qualifications
  • 27 pupils in the case of key stage 1 classes
  • 24 pupils in the case of mixed age classes
  • 20 pupils in the case of practical classes
  • 15 pupils in the case of classes of pupils needing particular small group or individual attention
  • 30 in other classes.

Your Induction Period

What are my entitlements during induction? What can I reasonably expect?

The NEU believes that induction programmes should be reasonable. It also believes that you should be entitled to a permanent contract.

You are entitled to a reasonable job description that:

  • does not make unreasonable demands
  • does not demand teaching outside the age range and subject(s) for which you have been employed
  • does not present you on a day-to-day basis with acute or unreasonably demanding discipline problems
  • involves regular teaching of the same class(es)
  • involves similar planning, teaching and assessment processes to those in which teachers working in similar substantive posts in the school are engaged
  • does not involve additional non-teaching responsibilities without the provision of appropriate preparation and support.

In addition, you are entitled to:

  • access the Teachers’ Pension Scheme
  • access to recognised trade union support and representation
  • access to all INSET days and other training opportunities
  • equal access to admin support
  • work in an environment free from discrimination and harassment
  • access to a counselling service.

You are entitled to a reduced teaching load of no more than 90 per cent of the timetable of other main pay range teachers in the school without responsibility points. This is in addition to the timetable reduction in respect of planning, preparation and assessment time (PPA) that all teachers receive. The NEU believes that your released time from teaching for induction purposes should be:

  • in useable blocks, not less than half a day
  • timetabled well in advance to allow planned use of the time
  • not dependent on increased teaching loads for other teachers
  • covered regularly by the same experienced teachers so that pupils’ learning and good standards of behaviour can continue
  • timetabled and not cancelled other than in extreme circumstances.

You are entitled to a planned induction programme, tailored to your individual needs and circumstances, that included opportunities for you to:

  • have your teaching observed at regular intervals throughout your induction period and have a follow-up discussion. Observations should focus on particular aspects of your teaching
  • have regular professional reviews of your progress
  • observe experienced teaching in your own or other schools.

Arrangements for observations of your teaching should be made well in advance and a brief written record should be made on each occasion. You are advised by the NEU to keep copies of such records.

You are entitled to an induction tutor to provide day-to-day monitoring and support.

You are entitled to support from your head teacher, who has overall responsibility for your induction programme and for assessing whether or not you satisfactorily meet the Teachers’ Standards and for ensuring that you receive advice on:

  • timetabling of lessons and support arrangements, names and contacts of induction tutors and a schedule for formal assessment and meetings
  • reporting arrangements and entitlements to pay during sickness absences, named contacts for other absences, eg maternity leave
  • arrangements for pay
  • provisions for pensions and any other entitlements
  • health and safety and equal opportunities policies
  • other relevant policies including arrangements for cover and child protection
  • the nature of the contract of employment, a list of duties and management arrangements.

You are entitled to oversight by the appropriate body. It should provide a named individual for you to raise any concerns about your induction which go beyond the school’s systems or procedures.

The NEU believes that you should be entitled to a supportive approach to your assessment, which should emphasise success and achievement rather than over-emphasise difficulties or shortcomings. Assessments, including targets, should be reviewed by you and your induction tutor and amended to meet any needs identified during formal assessment.

Do I have to teach a full timetable?

No, the head teacher must ensure an NQT has a reduced timetable of no more than 90 per cent of the timetable of other main pay scale teachers in the school to enable them to undertake activities in their induction programme. This is in addition to your entitlement to 10 per cent PPA time. NQTs in independent schools, including academies and free schools, independent nursery schools and FE colleges, must also have a reduced timetable on a comparable basis.

Am I entitled to PPA time?

Yes, you are entitled to a timetable reduction in respect to planning, preparation and assessment time (PPA) that all teachers receive.

How can I find out more?

Visit the NEU website to keep up to date on campaigns and your pay and conditions.

The Department for Education (DfE) home page on the Government website sets out the expectations and requirements for induction in England.

What support will I have from the NEU?

Members are welcome to seek advice and support from the NEU at any stage of their induction period. If you do have any concerns it is in your interest to have these addresses as early as possible. Don’t leave it too late! You should seek advice from the NEU if:

  • you believe that you are not receiving your entitlements
  • You consider that the Union’s recommendations for good practice, identified in this document, have not been met and that has impinged upon your successful induction
  • lengthy absence affects your induction period, such as prolonged or recurring absence through illness
  • you need advice on maternity leave during induction
  • you are concerned about the support provided to you in school and believe that the professional/working relationships with your induction tutor, head teacher or other members of staff are inhibiting your progress
  • you are concerned at all about the success of your induction period or wish to appeal against a formal decision.

How do I get in touch?

In school your first point of contact with the Union is your NEU representative.

If there is no NEU representative in your workplace you should contact the NEU (NUT) AdviceLine.

Tel: 020 3006 6266


More contacts can be found by following the link below: