Coronavirus: NQT absences won't lead to induction extensions

Newly-qualified teachers will not have their induction period extended if they are absent because of coronavirus, the government has said.

The Department for Education has announced plans to amend the law to ensure NQTs currently doing their induction can complete it this academic year.

Under the current system, NQTs with ad-hoc absences totalling 30 days or more get an automatic extension to their induction of the aggregate number of days they have been off.

The government’s proposed amendment means “any absence related to the current COVID-19 public health emergency, including school closures, sickness or self-isolation, will not count towards this limit”.

“This means that NQTs who are currently undertaking statutory induction can complete their induction this academic year as expected, provided they meet the teachers’ standards,” the DfE said in new guidance published today.

Heads and appropriate bodies “should continue to judge whether a NQT has met the teachers’ standards upon completion of the induction period”.

However, they are being “strongly encouraged” to use discretion to recommend an extension where NQTs are found not to have met the standards.

This will allow NQTs “further time and opportunity to demonstrate their ability to meet the standards”.