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NQT Advice


At present, the induction period for all newly qualified teachers:


  • can only be signed-off by the head of a state maintained school, either in the primary or secondary phase.

  • cannot be signed off by the Head of Music Service.


We are hoping that this situation will be reviewed. However, in the meantime this doesn’t mean that NQTs can’t fulfil the requirements when working for a Music Service. There is an established practice for completing this process:


  • NQTs can work a typical mixed week of activities (for instance, small group teaching, large group teaching, rehearsals and class teaching) but there must be a substantial amount of time in which the teacher is working with large groups or whole classes.

  • ‘Substantial’ is usually seen as at least one and a half days. This would typically be in the delivery of the national curriculum or as part of a wider opportunities teaching team.

  • There should also be other work - this could include large groups such as ensemble rehearsals.

  • The teacher must be able to demonstrate that she/he can manage a class and is able to prepare lessons effectively and maintain appropriate records.

  • The teacher should work for a solid block of time in one school so that the school can form a proper opinion of her/his work.


The normal practice is for the Head of the Music Service to negotiate with one of the head teachers in the schools where the teacher is working (usually the one with the substantial allocation) to complete the signing off process. The Music Service will observe the teacher in a variety of schools and provide reports from them so that the head teacher can be confident that the required standards have been attained.


Download detailed guidance from the Department for Education.