10 Things You Didn’t Know About Being an NQT

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What do we not know about (NQTs) newly qualified teachers working in schools?

During the summer, there will be 1,000s of newly qualified teachers embarking on their career in schools. I write to offer well-known facts about teachers starting their careers and hope that NQTs reach out to colleagues on Twitter, if they lack the support they may need in their own department/school.

Below are 10 things NQTs have to endure throughout their first year of teaching.

  1. Some but not all, will successfully gain their (QTS) Qualified Teacher Status, yet fail their induction period.
  2. Some but not all, will come from traditional BEd, PGCE and School Direct routes, others from Teach First and SCITT.
  3. Some but not all, will be told to plan lessons in detail, considering lesson activity by time, not by learning.
  4. Some but not all, will struggle with behaviour management.
  5. Some but not all, will be given their own classroom space to develop their repertoire.
  6. Some but not all, will smile before Christmas!
  7. Some but not all, will develop positive relationships with their colleagues.
  8. Some but not all, will manage their workload and well-being rather well …
  9. Some but not all, will be teaching beyond 5 years.
  10. Some but not all, will go on to become great teachers and school leaders.

shutterstock_274497113 Be first. Little pupils raising their hands during classes and teacher explaining new material.

Image: Shutterstock

Whilst we should recognise that teaching is really difficult, we should recognise that newly qualified teacher have an even tougher time and all need our support.

If you are an NQT and need support, contact me in confidence. I only wish I could have blogged and used Twitter when I was an NQT …



In 2010, Ross Morrison McGill founded @TeacherToolkit from a simple Twitter account in which he rapidly became the 'most followed teacher on social media in the UK'. In 2015, he was nominated for '500 Most Influential People in Britain' in The Sunday Times as one of the most influential in the field of education - he remains the only classroom teacher to feature to this day ... Sharing online as @TeacherToolkit, he rebuilt this website (c2008) into what you are now reading, as one of the 'most influential blogs on education in the UK', winning the number one spot at the UK Blog Awards (2018). Today, he is currently a PGCE tutor and is researching 'social media and its influence on education policy' for his EdD at Cambridge University. In 1993, he started teaching and is an experienced school leader working in some of the toughest schools in London. He is also a former Teaching Awards winner for 'Teacher of the Year in a Secondary School, London' (2004) and has written several books on teaching (2013-2018). Read more...

5 thoughts on “10 Things You Didn’t Know About Being an NQT

  • 29th August 2016 at 9:34 pm

    Thank you in advance for your support @teachertoolkit. Am about to start my NQT year after working in school from June. Was great to get to be on my own, but suddenly mentors and observations lot once more. Looking forward to your updates.

  • 20th December 2016 at 2:39 pm

    Wonderful article, its important to know what is coming your way when wanting to achieve a profession. I have been in university for over 2 years now and within a year I’ll be going on to a graduate scheme to become a [link removed] NQT supply teaching. I cannot wait.


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