Schoolzone blog: All's well with our NQTs

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30 Oct 2014

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At the end of last term, schoolzone gave away 2,500 bags of free resources to PGCE students ready for them to take into their new schools. The idea was that these resources would support them in their induction year. A couple of weeks ago we asked some of the recipients of the bags what they thought about the resources that they’d received. We also asked them about how well supported they were feeling in their first half term at their new schools.

The good news is that most of them feel well supported by their colleagues, with only 3% saying that they weren't. Senior leaders seem to be a bit less supportive, but maybe that’s to be expected at this early stage.

Less good news perhaps, is that fewer than half of the students we talked to (72/145) have found permanent teaching posts, though another quarter have fixed term contracts. However, just 4% have failed to find (but want) a teaching post. Compare this with the success rates of other graduates within a few months of graduation - it’s a great start for a working life: and even better with a nice bag of goodies alongside, courtesy of Gear for the Year!

The idea of the bags came from the bags of freebies that new mums get - we thought: if they can benefit from free stuff, why not not new teachers? So we contacted a relatively small numbers of publishers and other providers to see if they’d be kind enough to support our big give away, and they did! It was fairly large undertaking, led by schoolzone's Alex and Libby, here at schoolzone, to contact ITT colleges across the country and find out when we could present the bags. But then we had to pack and deliver them too.

But our research shows that the bags were very well received, thankfully. Obviously the providers of the resources wanted to show off their resources to new teachers, so it would have been unfortunate if they hand't been liked. For our part, we didn't want to go through all that effort again if the resources weren’t welcome, so we asked questions very carefully to make sure we weren't just going to get positive responses.

The surprise was how popular the reading books had been - teachers loved them because they are instantly useful. They also liked the music resources, for similar reasons.So, if we manage to muster the energy to run this project again next year we’ll know better what’s likely to be well received.

And for our suppliers, the good news is that only 10% of NQTs thought that receiving resources in Gear for the Year would not make them more likely to buy their resources in future.

Interested in this year's Gear for the Year? Contact Alex on 01242 262906.




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