You have put a great deal of time and resources into recruiting your new starter, and you now have a critical role in delivering an effective induction to make sure they settle in quickly and understand the job and what is expected of them.

Effective induction can lay important foundations for a productive relationship and is critical to retention and high-performance standards.

All new staff, including volunteers, supply staff, students and contractors, should be inducted into the school and their role. The induction should be tailored to the individual and their role but should always include their responsibilities for safeguarding and protecting children and their expected standards of conduct and behaviour.

Newly Qualified Teachers (NQTs) will be on the formal NQT Induction Year but should also be given a wider induction to the whole school.

The induction programme is the first important stage in the employee’s personal development plan.

Developing an induction programme

An induction programme should be planned in advance and include:

  • A tour of the school and an introduction to the school facilities
  • Introduction to colleagues
  • Health and safety protocols and requirements
  • Employee self-service or other pay information
  • The school’s Code of Conduct– making clear the expected standards of conduct and behaviour (see DfE’s Keeping Children Safe )
  • The job description
  • The school's policies and procedures, including safeguarding, acceptable use of ICT,  requirements for reporting absence
  • Terms and conditions of employment, for example, claiming expenses, requesting time off
  • Specific job training

Prepare a timetable of induction activities to cover the new employee’s first weeks and months. Include a named member of staff who will be responsible for each activity. Share the timetable and plan with the new starter and anyone else involved. Allow the new starter to contribute to the plan.

Arrange regular review meetings to see how things are going and to provide an opportunity for discussion and questions. If you have any concerns about the new starter, raise them with them promptly.

Assigning a buddy (or ‘sponsor/mentor’) to every new starter is good practice. If possible, this should be someone they will not be working with directly but who can undertake some of the induction activities and generally make the new employee feel welcome.

Child protection

All school staff are responsible for providing a safe environment for children to learn.

All staff members should be aware of systems within the school which support safeguarding, and these should be explained to them as part of their induction. This includes the school’s child protection policy, the school’s staff behaviour policy (sometimes called Code of Conduct); and the role of the designated safeguarding lead.

All staff members should also receive appropriate child protection training, which is regularly updated. Staff with designated lead responsibility for child protection should have refresher training every two years.

The training should include:

  • recognition of potential abuse;
  • responding appropriately to concerns;
  • recording and effective record keeping;
  • reporting concerns.

Safeguarding information for school staff can be found in the Department of Education’s – Keeping children safe in education. All school staff (including volunteers) should read at least part one of this guidance as part of their induction.

School policies and procedures

Staff should be provided with access to the school’s policies and procedures, including the code of conduct, and key policies should be explained to them, e.g. Whistleblowing, Sickness Absence, appraisals and performance management, Social Media policy, Dignity at Work (anti-bullying) Acceptable use of ICT.

Keeping a record of the induction

An induction programme should be formal and structured with a record kept of the plan. Brief notes should be kept of review meetings and activities. It is particularly important to keep a note of any actions and outcomes agreed at the review meetings for future reference.

Where staff or volunteers are being provided with vital information (e.g. Child Protection policy), they should sign to confirm that they have received this and that they agree to work within the school's policies and procedures. This makes it easier to deal with any inappropriate or unsuitable behaviour, should any arise.