Case study of the role of sefton LEAs recruitment and development

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Sefton benefits from an excellent recruitment strategy, very stable staffing and
high teacher retention rates. This case study focuses on the role of one of the
key players behind Sefton’s robust NQT Induction framework, namely the
Recruitment and Development Strategy Manager.


Sefton Council serves a diverse area. One-third of the LEA is significantly
disadvantaged whilst other areas exhibit considerable affluence. Schools are
successful and standards are higher than those found nationally in primary
schools and in line with or above national standards in the secondary sector.
Ofsted in 2000 judged the support for improving the quality of teaching,
including support for NQTs, as effective. The LEA has nurtured a strong
partnership with schools which is characterised by mutual trust, openness,
accountability and “challenge without threat.” Significant recent changes have
occurred in the structure and delivery of the borough’s services, with
education now an integral part of Children’s, Schools and Families Service
under the strategic direction of Bryn Marsh.

Context for NQT Support

Priority Area 4 in the LEA’s Education Development Plan 2002/07 is Building
Learning Communities which includes as one of its activities the co-ordination
of continuing professional development. This activity aims to provide a clear
framework for career progression starting with ITT students being well
supported by mentors and support for NQTs through to preparation for middle
and senior management. Given the national predictions for a shortfall in
appropriately trained teachers over the next five years, an important part of
this activity is defined as co-ordinating the local authority response to ensure
that it attracts enough suitably trained staff to its schools based on the
Recruitment and Retention Strategies.

The LEA Induction Co-ordinator is School Support Adviser Jacque Emery;
she has just taken over the role from Michael Fletcher-Hunt who designed
and set up the existing NQT support structure for Sefton. Responsibilities
include organising the training programme for NQTs and Induction Tutors,
ensuring that link advisers are involved in the formal classroom observations,
interpreting statutory requirements as appropriate and dealing with any issues
that may arise. The School Improvement Panel agreed that £1,000 per term
per NQT should be allocated via the Individual Schools Budget. Currently,
there are 120 NQTs, with an expectation that there will be fewer next year
because of proposed school closures. It has been policy for advisers to
observe NQTs at least once as part of the LEA’s quality assurance strategy.

LEA courses provided to meet the Induction Standards include sessions on
SEN, working with teaching assistants, classroom management and cultural
diversity. Residentials are organised for primary and secondary NQTs

separately. A two-day Induction Tutors course, involving the AST, gives
guidance on statutory obligations, lesson observations and how to conduct
review and assessment meetings. A strong feature of the support is the
utilisation of an Advanced Skills Teacher (AST) in ITT based at Deyes High
School but deployed to other schools as necessary. Particularly helpful is the
comprehensive NQT Record of Induction file which is revised annually; it
enables NQTs to record their professional development and achievements
during the year. Included in the file is: a welcome letter from the Schools and
Young People Director; information about the LEA and the locality; relevant
TTA materials and proformas; a calendar of relevant activities and dates
during the induction period; and personnel information including the names of
advisers attached to the schools. Considerable emphasis is given to helping
NQTs to take responsibility for gathering essential information from their
schools. A separate management file outlines the LEA’s administrative
procedures for monitoring NQT Induction forms and letters; it provides
detailed information for education personnel.

The Recruitment and Development Strategy Manager (RDSM)

Sue Foster has been RDSM for the past three years. The LEA has no major
recruitment issues, with Sue attending the major recruitment fairs at the local
ITT providers. Shortages in secondary subjects mirror the national picture.
The 98% retention rate of NQTs into their second year of teaching is
exceptionally high compared with the national average. A member of the
North West Regional ITT Steering Group and the Merseyside and Cheshire
Designated Recommended Body, Sue demonstrates considerable influence
and expertise. This is not surprising considering the parameters of her job
description outlined below:

      Ensuring that all the Quality Assurance induction arrangements are in
       place as documented in the LEA NQT Quality Assurance form;

      Liaising with Personnel in the appointment of NQTs;

      Informing advisers of all NQTs in post who will need a formal lesson

      Maintaining a database of information on all NQTs, recording and
       monitoring that induction is taking place;

      Ensuring that the requirements for induction such as Induct forms are
       completed properly;

      Advising schools on their responsibilities for induction;

      Liaising with other LEAs and schools regarding NQTs who have
       completed induction terms outside the LEA;

      Overseeing that the headteachers’ recommendations are approved;

CASE STUDY OF THE ROLE OF THE RDSM IN NQT INDUCTION                               2
       Prompting the meeting of the LEA Appropriate Body for Induction to
        sign off NQTs who have successfully completed induction;

       Notifying the GTCE on the successful completion of induction, making
        a termly report and disseminating the certificates provided;

       Providing details of schools with NQTs to Budget services to enable
        the release of funding;

       Briefing Governor support on the NQT regulations and providing
        updates on any changes;

       Supporting as appropriate the Lead Adviser in the updating of induction
        information, NQT Induction Files and the promotion of the Induction


Sefton benefits from an excellent recruitment strategy, very stable staffing and
high teacher retention rates. Schools such as Deyes High School, visited in
connection with this case study, are very complimentary about the quality of
support received from Michael and Sue in recent years. A key element in
Sefton’s success is undoubtedly the extensive role of the RDSM which
includes important quality assurance and not just administrative functions.
LEA Induction Co-ordinators often work in virtual isolation and do not benefit
from the support of, and regular dialogue with, a RDSM colleague. This case
study highlights the benefits associated with such partnership working within a
robust NQT Induction framework.

This case study was compiled by Teacher Training Agency regional induction consultants
(RICs) during 2003/04. The aim is to share effective induction practice and to help schools
support and learn from each other. The case studies may be of interest to colleagues working
in LEAs and schools involved directly in supporting NQTs. They are intended to inspire rather
than to guide.

For more information about any of these case studies, or if you have an example
of effective induction practice that you would like to share, please e-mail induction@teach-

Further copies of this document and other case studies can be downloaded from

Opinions expressed by the authors do not necessarily reflect the views of the Teacher
Training Agency or the Government.

CASE STUDY OF THE ROLE OF THE RDSM IN NQT INDUCTION                                            3

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