Any new member of staff joining an organization needs to have a planned programme of induction designed to ensure that they make a good start. This applies to everyone from the cleaner to the headteacher. The length of that induction and the pattern that it takes will vary according to the nature of the post and the experience and ability of the individual.
Much energy has gone into designing induction programmes for newly qualified teachers and for headteachers in their first appointments. These programmes have been well documented by the Department for Education and the NCSL.
This brief section concerns the need in a Church school to have an element of an induction process that takes account of the ethos of the school and the contribution that the new entrant will make to its development.
All church schools should ensure that their arrangements for the support of Newly Qualified Teachers meet legal requirements and are sympathetically and energetically applied. The process should be positive and constructive throughout, designed to ensure that all NQTs meet the basic standards required and make a good start in their profession. The NQT's mentor should be a teacher with a commitment to and understanding of the ethos of the school. Careful attention should be paid to the contents of the teacher's Career Entry Profile and early training should be targeted at any needs identified in the CEP. Priority should be given to the NQT Conference provided by the DBE.
The induction process for other teachers should ensure that they rapidly become effective members of the school team and are supported in their understanding of the school ethos. It should be clear to all that the job specification for the post represents the work that the teacher will be doing when s/he reaches full effectiveness in the new post. Training in the first stages of the work should be targeted at those aspects of the job specification which are likely to cause most problems given previous background and experience.
Governors will have expected all candidates for senior posts in church schools to have undertaken professional preparation for this new stage in their career. This is a major issue for headteachers of all church schools who will have to have demonstrated during their interview their ability to sustain and develop the ethos of the school. Governors will need to be satisfied that the person who is chosen as a mentor has a good understanding of the issues involved in working in a church school.
For all posts it will be helpful if there is an induction pack that can be given to the successful candidate. A list of possible contents of this pack is included below. All schools should use the existence of the induction process at these two levels to help them design induction procedures for other posts.
Induction commences as soon as the post has been accepted and normally finishes at the point when the first cycle of work has been completed. For some posts this cycle may last a month, half a term or a term. For many teaching posts the full cycle is a school year. During the induction period the newly appointed person will need to establish working relationships with new colleagues, learn something of the school, its history and values and take part in training events designed to help them acquire new skills or adjust old ones to new circumstances. The precise programme of training will need to be developed in consultation with each inductee. The other priority is for inductees to reach a satisfactory and satisfying level of performance as quickly as possible. During this period they need to become established and respected members of staff. The end of the induction period should be marked in a way that makes it clear that this target has been achieved.
For each new member of staff there should be an induction programme and opportunities for career and professional development. One of the key elements of the induction programme will be an introduction to the ethos of the school and the part that members of staff are expected to play in it. Some support staff will rapidly become the public face of the school. Others will be responsible for sustaining the school's teaching about human relationships during the least structured periods of the school day. All will need training in their new roles. This should not be left to chance. A senior member of the school staff should be responsible for this induction and training programme. Care should be taken to ensure that following the provision of this initial induction and training programme there are appropriate opportunities for training and for further professional development. Some of this will be with teaching staff; other parts of the training programme will be specific to the tasks that are undertaken by support staff.
List of contents for an induction pack
- School Ethos Statement
- School brochure or information booklet for parents
- Job description
- School policies relevant to the post
- Name of line manager
- Name of appraiser (if different)
- Location of employment information and policies
- Name of chair of governors
- Name of staff governors
- Name of parish priest and other parochial clergy linked with the school
- Names of representatives of professional associations and unions in the school
- Name of staff development coordinator
- Name of the senior member of staff with lead responsibility for Child Protection
- Details of staffing and payroll sections of LA (if their services are used)
- Correspondence address of LA and DBE
- Addresses of local resource centres or other relevant sources of support and advice
- Details of dates on which salary payments are made
- Dates of school holidays
- Hours of work (if relevant)
- Dates of parent meetings and other key functions (as far as planned)
- Such other information as may be helpful to the new staff member in his/her work