Support for Newly Appointed Teaching Staff


Introduction

The 2016 AGM adopted the following Resolution:

"That this AGM instruct Council to investigate and report on the support given by local authorities to newly appointed teaching staff including newly promoted staff."

The Resolution was passed to the Education Committee for action. It agreed to write to all Local Association Secretaries and Directors of Education requesting information on the supports that are currently in place. Information was requested on induction and post-appointment support provided by the local authority to:

  1. Teachers post-probation
  2. Teachers newly employed within the authority
  3. Newly promoted PTs
  4. Newly appointed Deputes
  5. Newly appointed HTs

Responses from Local Associations

Replies were received from five Local Associations: Aberdeenshire, Dumfries and Galloway, East Ayrshire, Glasgow and North Lanarkshire.

Responses from local authorities

At the time of writing, 15 responses had been received from local authorities:

Aberdeenshire, Argyll and Bute, East Ayrshire, East Dunbartonshire, East Lothian, East Renfrewshire, Glasgow, Inverclyde, Moray, North Ayrshire, Perth and Kinross, Renfrewshire, Scottish Borders, Shetland and Western Isles.

Findings

This section contains an outline of the main ways in which it has been reported that support is being provided to the above groups of teachers. The various kinds of support that appeared most commonly in the information supplied by Local Associations and local authorities are grouped together under thematic headings:

induction schemes, in-school support, network support, mentoring, central support (from the local authority), Headteacher meetings and professional learning.

Full details of the information supplied by local authorities are included in Appendix A.

(a) Support for teachers post-probation 

Induction schemes 

Glasgow provides a full induction programme for this group of staff, which, it was reported by the LA Secretary, is judged to be valued by those who participate.

Renfrewshire Council invites all newly qualified teachers (NQTs) to a 2-day welcome session prior to the beginning of the school year. The session covers, for example, practical employment matters, learning and teaching, Literacy and Numeracy, assessment, and includes inputs from the previous year’s NQTs.

Some local authorities reported that they have mandatory induction programmes for all newly appointed staff, including those who are in their first year of teaching with full registration. In two cases, these programmes include a corporate programme. Some local authorities cited school-level induction as a means of support for postprobation teachers. 

In-school support 

In-school support for teachers who have recently completed probation was reported to take several forms. Individual programmes of induction and support were referenced, though detail of content was not provided. In a number of cases, SMT staff were identified as having responsibility for such programmes.

Opportunities to team-teach and to shadow more experienced colleagues were highlighted by Aberdeen Local Association as supportive measures in place for newly qualified teachers.

Dumfries and Galloway Local Association indicated SMT and other staff in the school give support to NQTs, while in Scottish Borders individual coaching is a core element of the induction process within schools.

Network support

Two Local Associations- Aberdeen and North Lanarkshire- identified local networks as a source of support for teachers in employment post-probation.

Mentoring

In Aberdeenshire, probationer mentors remain in contact with those that they worked with in the probation year as they undertake their first year of teaching as fully registered teachers.

Professional learning

It was reported that newly qualified teachers can also access support through existing professional learning opportunities that are open to all staff, either provided by the local authority or by school staff, depending on the focus.

Professional learning sessions for teachers post-probation are provided by some authorities in such topics as GIRFEC, curriculum, assessment and moderation, behaviour management and active learning. Moray provides professional learning on classroom leadership to teachers in their first substantive post. 

East Ayrshire Local Association indicated that while no such specific supports were in place at the moment, plans are afoot to use Attainment Challenge funding to provide courses for newly qualified teachers (NQTs) in Literacy and Numeracy, and in other areas of priority as identified by this cohort of teachers themselves.

In Aberdeenshire, new teachers are encouraged to continue use of their final probationer profiles and other self-evaluation resources, alongside the support provide through local authority events and at establishment level. A few local authorities indicated that they encourage new teachers to engage with SCEL's teacher leadership programme.

(b)Support for teachers newly employed within the authority 

Induction

A few local authorities indicated that they run mandatory induction programmes for all staff newly employed, which, in one local authority- East Renfrewshiremust be taken up within the first four months of employment by the authority.

A few local authorities provide an online induction checklist for newly employed staff, while East Lothian organises 'Meet the Chief executive' sessions for all newly appointed staff.

Mentoring

Western Isles offers mentorship to newly appointed staff, this being an area that they hope to develop further.

General

In most of the local authorities for which information was provided, however, there are currently no additional bespoke arrangements in place for teachers who are new to employment within the authority. 

Feedback from the five Local Associations suggests that the nature of the support offered is generic and comparable to that most commonly available to NQTs access to available professional learning opportunities, involvement in local networks, and support from school staff in various forms.

Glasgow Local Association has highlighted the need for support for this group of teaching staff with HR, and the matter is now under consideration.

(c) Support for newly promoted PTs 

Induction

A few local authorities specifically referenced personal induction for newly promoted PTs. Perth and Kinross indicated that newly appointed PTs have access to a 10-day programme of Leadership and Induction which includes focus on policy, finance, legislation, leadership and management theory and practice, and the support of a coach/mentor. (Such opportunities are also open to new DHTs and HTs). 

In-school support

Information provided pointed to in-school support being provided by SMT, though Local Associations suggested that this is dependent on capacity. 

For example, at school level, for newly promoted PTs in the primary sector, the reductions in school management personnel in North Lanarkshire, specifically the elimination of DHTs in some schools, has meant that PTs have no other senior manager to support them apart from the HT.

Mentoring 

Dumfries and Galloway organises mentoring across the authority, pairing newly appointed PTs with more experienced PT colleagues. Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire operate similar models. East Ayrshire also arranges mentoring for newly appointed PTs.

Network support

Inverclyde PTs, including those newly appointed, are supported through Primary and Subject PTs' Networks.

Central support

Aberdeenshire's QIOs support newly appointed PTs, particularly with regards to training and professional learning appropriate to the role. North Lanarkshire Local Association reported that local authority support is limited because of budget constraints.

The Local Association Secretary identified the dilution of centrally provided support as an issue for newly promoted PTs in the secondary sector.

For example, local authority organised subject-specific business meetings have all but disappeared. Any which do occur are more ad hoc in nature, tend to be after school and are more reactive to emerging concerns than part of a planned, proactive, co-ordinated programme of support.

The associated challenges are compounded for Heads of Faculties that encompass subjects in which they are not specialist. In contrast, East Renfrewshire continues to run four PT meetings per year, supported by the QIO.

Professional learning

Aberdeen City offers generic management training though this is not bespoke to educational leadership and management.  

Argyll and Bute offers a programme of professional learning for middle leaders operated through a Middle Leadership Network, comprising 6 days throughout the year, two of which are run in partnership with East Dunbartonshire Council and SCEL. East Dunbartonshire itself offers a similar programme.

SCEL has also supported North Lanarkshire in design and delivery of a middle leadership conference, which new PTs were encouraged to attend. In addition, North Lanarkshire provides a number of leadership development courses for this cohort. 

North Lanarkshire Council indicated its intention to use Attainment Challenge funds in session 2017-18 to develop further courses in leadership for teachers at this level.

Renfrewshire Council has recently developed a training programme for newly appointed PTs covering effective leadership, managing improvement, leading and managing change, communication and relationships, managing people, GIRFEC and pupil support, and Council and national priorities. 

In Dumfries and Galloway there are a variety of opportunities, offered through existing CPD mechanisms, to access courses in leadership, financial management, implementation of policies and procedures, and management of Professional Review and Development and Professional Update.

Glasgow City Council makes professional learning options available to new PTs on an opt-in basis, while Moray and Shetland offer new PTs the option of undertaking Leadership programmes. 

Both North Lanarkshire and Glasgow local authorities offer development opportunities for aspiring PTs, with the emphasis more on preparation for promotion at this level rather than support afterwards. 

East Ayrshire offers an Introduction to Management programme for newly appointed PTs and is soon to introduce a Middle Leadership programme to be delivered in partnership with Tapestry.

Dumfries and Galloway holds an annual conference for PTs (and DHTs). Several local authorities indicated that newly appointed PTs have access to the full range of professional learning opportunities provided.

(d) Support for newly promoted Deputes

Network support

Inverclyde and Moray DHTs are able to seek support through participation in the DHTs' Network.

Mentoring

Aberdeen City and Dumfries and Galloway provide mentorship support to new Deputes through local networks.

Professional learning

Relevant professional learning opportunities are available to Deputes and/ or aspiring Deputes in Dumfries and Galloway, Glasgow and North Lanarkshire. DHTs in Dumfries and Galloway are invited to an annual conference hosted by the authority.

Argyll and Bute cited its ABLE Programme (Argyll and Bute Leadership in Education) as being a good support to new Deputes. The programme offers four day-long sessions, covering a range of topics and the option for participants to complete assignments reflecting on their own personal development and contribution to school improvement.

The programme is supported by SCEL and by UHI and on completion of it, participants can apply for credits in recognition of the professional learning that they have undertaken. 

A few local authorities indicated that new Deputes are given the opportunity to undertake the 'Into Headship' qualification.

(e) Support for newly promoted HTs

Induction

Aberdeenshire offers what it describes as a comprehensive package of support for all new Headteachers, the appropriate elements of which are undertaken following discussion with the QIO.

Learning focuses on the Headteacher handbook, a 7-day course of induction modules and involves mentorship.

Glasgow City Council arranges two days of induction for newly promoted Headteachers, covering matters such as Health and Safety.

The Local Association Secretary reported that there can be quite significant delays between the date of appointment of an HT and participation in induction sessions, however. 

HT induction is overseen in East Lothian by the Head of Education, with responsibility for ensuring completion resting with the Training and Development Officer.

North Lanarkshire and Shetland offer a central induction programme, also.

Mentoring

Experienced HTs are paired with newly appointed Headteachers in Aberdeen, Dumfries and Galloway and North Lanarkshire. In Borders, coaching/mentoring is provided to new HTs by central staff. 

Headteacher meetings

Aberdeen City organises meetings specifically for newly appointed Headteachers. The authority also holds general meetings for Headteachers to which newly appointed HTs are invited, though the agenda is not tailored to their specific needs. Similar meetings with input from central staff are arranged by Dumfries and Galloway.

The North Lanarkshire Local Association Secretary reported that HTs also meet with other HTs in their clusters on a fairly regular basis, in addition to attending termly meetings organised by the authority for all HTs, usually but not always according to sector, to discuss matters of importance.

Central support

Newly promoted HTs in Aberdeen are supported by the QIO, Curriculum, Inclusion and central CPD teams. In Aberdeenshire, QIOs meet with new Headteachers formally to focus on handover from the previous Headteacher, introduction to key colleagues, the school and the wider community, overview of roles and responsibilities and of the
support available. 

In North Lanarkshire new HTs are assigned to work with a senior manager from Council Headquarters whose role is to ensure that a suitable induction to the new post-holder is provided. The authority also trains coaches and mentors to ensure availability of such support should it be requested by a new HT.

Professional learning

Renfrewshire has developed a programme for newly appointed HTs which is delivered by external consultants. Topics covered include leadership, vision, emotional intelligence, self-evaluation, education and the law, child protection, handling conflict, using data, and educational finance.

The Council also provides training for HTs on coaching to support them in their role within the PRD process. 

North Lanarkshire Local Association reported that formal training in management functions appears to be rather sporadic and variable in quality. The Council itself indicated that it is planning a range of senior leadership programmes for session 2017-18 that will be delivered using funding from the Attainment Challenge.

The Local Association Secretary indicated that the programme of professional learning is most robust as staff prepare for headship.

In recent years, the authority has established an "aspiring HTs pool" from which acting HTs have normally been appointed when required, run in tandem with a locally organised "aspiring HTs development programme". They are also made aware of other opportunities for development, such as SCEL's "Into Headship" programme.

Similarly, East Ayrshire is in the early stages of planning an 'Academy' for staff who aspire to promoted posts, likely to involve a mentoring approach and include relevant professional learning.

The Local Association Secretary suggested that this would be open to staff at all stages in their careers, including those wishing to become Headteachers.

Professional learning opportunities are available to HTs in Dumfries and Galloway, including an annual Headteacher conference.

Conclusion and recommendations

From the information provided, albeit at the time of writing from less than half of local authorities, it would appear that the level of provision of support for newly appointed teaching staff at each level is variable across council areas though there are some similarities in the approaches adopted.

The least well supported group of teachers appears to be those who are newly appointed to an education authority.

This should be a matter for the consideration of Local Associations. It is therefore recommended that this paper is issued to Local Association Secretaries.

Regarding the matter of support for newly appointed teachers to the full range of roles, the CPD Sub Committee will share the information with Local Association Secretaries, EIS Learning Representatives and the HT and DHT Network, and will continue to monitor.

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