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Louise Whitfield

Abstract

This article describes a small-scale qualitative study focusing on Newly Qualified Teachers (NQTs) during their first year of teaching. The study aimed to find out how Initial Teacher Education (ITE) providers can best support NQTs by looking at barriers that NQTs face, their perceptions of the support they need, and how these findings could be embedded into a university’s NQT Strategy. NQTs were visited in their employing schools at various points over their first year in teaching and were interviewed about their role and their perceived strengths and barriers which they had encountered. The paper highlights the differences between standards-driven competencies which are often perceived to be the main focus of the NQT year and the pastoral forms of support that are needed to overcome issues such as workload. Conclusions were drawn from these semi-structured interviews, alongside secondary evidence including discussions with mentors and head teachers, and iterative readings of relevant literature. Findings from the research include suggestions for next steps in relation to developing NQT resources and in relation to the support offered by the ITE provider. I also consider the implications for future research in this area.

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