Newly Qualified Teachers need tailored support, NFER research shows


Newly Qualified Teachers need personalised support in order to overcome some of the situations they face, according to new research.

The National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) has suggested that a one-size-fits-all method of evaluation does not adequately support new teaching staff.

The research focused on the continuous professional development for newly qualified teachers and those in the early years of the profession, with the aim of uncovering best practice.

It comes as the government places a greater focus on teaching staff recruitment and retention in the UK with a raft of reforms and new policies.

The NFER interviewed 70 teachers who have been in the classroom for anything between one and ten years, alongside 22 professional development leads from 20 UK schools that have above-average rates for new teacher retention.

Schools with the most successful CPD programmes were found to match newly qualified teaching staff with a mentor in the same subject or age phase specialism.

Newly qualified teachers told researchers they require assistance with behaviour management, supporting pupils with special educational needs and with some aspects of assessment.

Best practice for teachers that have spent two to five years in the classroom revolved around providing advice and guidance on taking on new leadership and responsibility.

Teachers spoke of ‘shadowing’ more experienced members of staff in order to better understand teaching practices, although there is no statutory process that requires schools to do this.

The best performing schools were found to provide a ‘buddy’ for teaching staff that have passed the two year induction stage so that they had someone they could talk to about their needs and other issues.

The NFER study also highlighted the need for regular feedback for newly qualified teachers so that they have time to remedy any problems they face.