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Responsibilities for Headteachers and Induction Tutors

Roles and responsibilities for headteachers and induction tutors

In this section you will find:

  • Suitabilty of posts for NQTs

  • The entitlements for NQTs

  • The reduced timetable and what it means

  • Responsibilities for Governing Bodies

  • The responsibilities of Headteachers

  • The role of the induction tutor

  • Key Skills for Induction tutors

  • Suitability of posts for NQTs

In order for the NQT to serve induction the head teacher/principal and appropriate body must first agree that the post is suitable for this purpose. 

The head teacher/principal of the institution in which an NQT is serving an induction period, and the appropriate body, are jointly responsible for ensuring that the supervision and training of the NQT meets their development needs.

The duties assigned to the NQT and the conditions under which they work should be such as to facilitate a fair and effective assessment of the NQT’s conduct and efficiency as a teacher against the relevant standards.

In particular a suitable post must:

  • have a head teacher/principal to make the recommendation about whether the NQT’s performance against the relevant standards is satisfactory,

  • have prior agreement with an appropriate body to act in this role to quality assure the induction process;

  • provide the NQT with the necessary employment tasks, experience and support to enable them to demonstrate satisfactory performance against the relevant standards throughout and by the end of the induction period;

  • ensure the appointment of an induction tutor with QTS;

  • provide the NQT with a reduced timetable to enable them to undertake activities in their induction programme (see para 2.19);

  • not make unreasonable demands upon the NQT;

  • not normally demand teaching outside the age range and/or subject(s) for which the NQT has been employed to teach;

  • not present the NQT, on a day-to-day basis, with discipline problems that are unreasonably demanding for the setting;

  • involve the NQT regularly teaching the same class(es);

  • involve similar planning, teaching and assessment processes to those in which other teachers working in similar substantive posts in the institution are engaged; and

  • not involve additional non-teaching responsibilities without the provision of appropriate preparation and support. 

NQT entitlements

An NQT is entitled to:

  • a suitably experienced Induction Tutor, with whom you will meet regularly (in secondary schools and some larger primaries you will have a subject mentor/planning partner or a ‘buddy’ as well as the formal Induction Tutor)

  • discussion around your Career Entry and Development Profile (CEDP) with your Induction Tutor

  • an individualised induction programme, providing support, monitoring and assessment, in which you and your Induction Tutor plan a programme of professional development opportunities based on your strengths, needs and aspirations

  • observation of your teaching each half term, followed by professional review meetings at which you and your Induction Tutor review your progress against your objectives and revise your objectives and action plan if necessary

  • a 10% reduction in timetable, compared with the usual contact time in the school, in the context of PPA time(including if FE and independent)

  • a planned programme of how this time will be used, e.g.:

- focused observation of colleagues

- visits to other schools and settings

- observing an Advanced Skills Teacher

- review and revision of objectives

- working on your portfolio

- meetings with LA adviser

- attendance at LA induction training and other courses

- information gathering

- meetings with Induction Tutor/Headteacher

- planned study and reflection

- meeting with colleagues, e.g. SENCO

  • formal assessment: a meeting towards the end of each term, reviewing progress against your objectives and the relevant standards, and an assessment report (which is submitted to the LA)

  • a job description that does not make unreasonable demands

  • access to an LA contact, who will help to ensure provision of monitoring, support, guidance and assessment, and who can be approached regarding any queries or problems (contact Christine Leigh in the first instance) early identification of any problems, and additional support if the need arises

The reduced timetable and what it means

In a relevant school, the head teacher must ensure an NQT has a reduced timetable of no more than 90% of the timetable of other main scale teachers in the school to enable them to undertake activities in their induction programme. This is in addition to the timetable reduction in respect of planning, preparation and assessment time (PPA) that all teachers receive. 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.

Responsibilities of the Governing Body

The governing body:

 should be satisfied that the institution has the capacity to support the NQT;

  • should ensure the head teacher/principal is fulfilling their responsibility to meet the requirements of a suitable post for induction;
  • must investigate concerns raised by an individual NQT as part of the institution’s agreed grievance procedures;
  • can seek guidance from the appropriate body on the quality of the institution’s induction arrangements and the roles and responsibilities of staff involved in the process; and can request general reports on the progress of an NQT.


The responsibilities of the Headteacher

The head teacher/principal is, along with the appropriate body, jointly responsiblefor the monitoring, support and assessment of the NQT during induction, and should:

  • check that the NQT has been awarded QTS;
  • clarify whether the teacher needs to serve an induction period or is exempt;
  • agree, in advance of the NQT starting the induction programme, which body will act as the appropriate body;
  • notify the appropriate body when an NQT is taking up a post in which they will be undertaking induction;
  • meet the requirements of a suitable post for induction;
  • ensure the induction tutor is appropriately trained and has sufficient time to carry out their role effectively;
  • ensure an appropriate and personalised induction programme is in place;
  • ensure the NQT’s progress is reviewed regularly, including through observations and feedback of their teaching;
  • ensure that termly assessments are carried out and reports completed and sent to the appropriate body;
  • maintain and retain accurate records of employment that will count towards the induction period;
  • make the governing body aware of the arrangements, that have been put in place to support NQTs serving induction;
  • make a recommendation to the appropriate body on whether the NQT’s performance against the relevant standards is satisfactory or requires an extension;
  • participate appropriately in the appropriate body’s quality assurance procedures; and
  • retain all relevant documentation/evidence/forms on file for six years.


There may also be circumstances where the head teacher/principal should:

  • obtain interim assessments from the NQT’s previous post;
  • act early, alerting the appropriate body when necessary, in cases where an NQT may be at risk of not completing induction satisfactorily;
  • ensure third party observation of an NQT who may be at risk of not performing satisfactorily against the relevant standards;
  • notify the appropriate body as soon as absences total 30 days or more;
  • periodically inform the governing body about the institution’s induction arrangements;
  • advise and agree with the appropriate body in exceptional cases where it may be appropriate to reduce the length of the induction period or deem that it has been satisfactorily completed;
  • provide interim assessment reports for staff moving in between formal assessment periods; and
  • notify the appropriate body when an NQT serving induction leaves the institution.


In addition to the above, head teachers/principals of FE institutions, independent schools and nursery schools must also ensure the NQT’s post and responsibilities comply with the specific requirements for statutory induction in these settings.

The role of the Induction Tutor

The induction tutor (or the head teacher if carrying out this role) should:

  • provide, or co-ordinate, guidance and effective support including coaching and mentoring for the NQT’s professional development (with the appropriate body where necessary)
  • carry out regular progress reviews throughout the induction period;
  • undertake three formal assessment meetings during the total induction period co-ordinating input from other colleagues as appropriate (normally three termly,or pro rata for part-time staff);
  • inform the NQT during the assessment meeting the judgements to be recorded in the formal assessment record and invite NQTs to add their comments;
  • ensure that the NQT’s teaching is observed and feedback provided;
  • ensure NQTs are aware of how, both within and outside the institution, the can raise any concerns about their induction programme or their personal progress; and
  • take prompt, appropriate action if an NQT appears to be having difficulties.


Key Skills for Induction Tutors

The Induction Tutor must hold QTS and have the necessary skills, knowledge and time to work effectively in this role. When appointing a teacher as an induction tutor it may be helpful to use the following description of good practice, skills and behaviours as a guide:

  • able to undertake effective coaching and mentoring.
  • provides or coordinates guidance and effective support for the NQT’s professional development
  • develops mentorship skills of colleagues (secondary)
  • makes rigorous and fair judgements about the NQT’s performance in relation to the induction requirements
  • plans an individualised induction programme in collaboration with the NQT
  • timetables regular meetings to discuss progress and set or review objectives within an action plan (in first 4 weeks then half-termly)
  • undertakes most observations of the NQT’s teaching and provides oral and written feedback (in first 4 weeks then half-termly)
  • helps NQT to develop skills of self-evaluation and take increasing responsibility for professional development
  • conducts three formal assessment meetings at the end of each term, completes the assessment forms and sends to the Appropriate Body
  • recognises when early action may need to be taken in the case of an NQT who is experiencing difficulties
  • alerts the NQT, HT and Appropriate Body immediately if there are serious concerns
  • ensures a smooth transition into early career development through close liaison with future mentor
  • maintains records
  • ensures that the NQT:

- attends the relevant NQT training

- takes part in any appropriate programme of staff training at the school

- knows about any whole-school policies, including those on child protection, management of behaviour and health and safety

- contributes, with other teachers and school staff, to specific school improvement activities

- spends time with the school’s SENCO to focus on specific and general SEN matters

- receives, where appropriate, training, development or advice from professionals outside the school, e.g. ASTs, CDAs, other schools, LAs, Higher Education Institutions, Diocesan authorities, professional bodies and subject associations

Induction tutors may find it helpful to attend the regular network meetings run by the Local Authority and further details of these and booking forms can be found on the learning platform.