Frequently asked questions

There are popular questions that NQTs ask about their induction.

Q. When do Newly Qualified Teachers (NQTs) have to start their induction support programme?

A. There is no time limit, following the award of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), by which NQTs have to start their induction. We do advise that they try to complete their induction as soon as possible after being awarded QTS, so as to build on and strengthen the skills gained during initial teacher training (ITT).

Q. I have been told that NQTs have to start / complete their induction within 5 years of being awarded QTS, and that, if they don’t, they can no longer teach and will have their QTS taken off them. Is this true?

A. No, this is not true. There is no time limit to starting induction. Even in the unlikely event of an NQT failing their induction, or not undertaking their induction, they will not have their QTS taken away from them. They worked hard for their QTS by successfully completing their ITT (and skills tests where appropriate), and it is theirs to keep.

Q. Is there a deadline by which NQTs have to finish their induction?

A. Whilst NQTs are encouraged to start their induction as soon as possible after gaining qualified teacher status (QTS), there is no set time limit for starting or completing an induction period.

Q. If an NQT fails their induction support programme, can they take it again?

A. No one may serve more than one induction period. If they have failed their induction period and, if they have appealed against this decision, the Appeal Panel upholds the decision that they have failed. Appeals are heard by the Teaching Agency.

Q. Can an NQT change from teaching primary to secondary or vice versa during their induction year?

A. Yes. There is nothing stopping NQTs from doing, for example, two terms secondary and one term primary. There is no legal obstacle – once an NQT has QTS they can, legally, teach any age range, even if it is not the age range they studied during their ITT. However, teaching outside the age range for which they trained is unlikely to offer the best context for induction. An NQT in this situation is likely to need additional support in order to meet, and show that they are meeting, the Induction Standards.

Q. Can an NQT undertake supply work?

A. If induction has not been completed, a qualified teacher can undertake short term supply work of less than one full term for a maximum of 5 years from award of QTS.

Q. Can NQTs take a break during their induction period?

A. Yes, NQTs can take a break for as long as they like, but during that period they cannot teach in maintained schools or non-maintained special schools, because they are obliged to continue with their induction programme if they are in a school where the programme is available. NQTs could, therefore, do non-inductable short-term supply teaching, provided the 5 year rule has not expired. They could also supply or teach in a school that does not require induction, e.g. an independent school.

Q. Induction Certificates.

A  An NQT's certificate is issued by the National College for Teaching & Leadership. You can contact the NCTL by email:

Q  If a teacher has not received/or lost their DfE unique teacher number (URN) who do they contact?

A  If you forget your personal number you can contact the NCTL by email on or telephone 0207 593 5392.

Q  How do NQTs find out who their named contact is at the Appropriate Body?

A  Please contact Mark Jenner, NQT Induction Team Manager at County Hall, New Road, Oxford, OX1 1 ND - email:

Q. Will inductees be fully competent to teach?

A. Yes, they will already have QTS. Induction is a programme of support and guidance that ensures their suitability to continue in the teaching profession. Other professions, such as medicine and law, have similar arrangements.

Q. Can part-time teachers undertake an induction programme?

A. Yes. The length of the period for part-time teachers will be calculated on a pro rata basis so that the teacher covers the equivalent of 378 school sessions. For instance, the induction period for a teacher working for 50 per cent of the time will need to last for six school terms (at a school that has a 3 term academic year).

Q. How will the induction period be assessed?

A. Monitoring is an important component of support and the teacher’s progress is monitored throughout the year as part of their induction support programme. This includes the informal monitoring and formative assessment that takes place on a day to day basis as well as the teacher’s self evaluation, scheduled observations and review discussions. Assessment meetings between the induction tutor and/or the headteacher and the NQT are held towards the end of each term.

Q. Can a new teacher do induction in a school requiring special measures?

A. Yes, if the school has been judged to be able to provide appropriate induction supervision and training. Each school requiring special measures is informed in writing as to whether or not it is judged by OFSTED as suitable to provide an induction programme.