As September is the start of a new school year, many of us will be welcoming new staff to our settings. Ensuring we have a purposeful and effective induction process is vital if we want our new staff members to settle in quickly and feel valued.
Every staff member, including teaching staff, support staff and volunteers, should have a well-planned induction programme tailored to their role.
Remember that starting a new school or setting can be an overwhelming experience for many and we need to be mindful of information overload. Yes, they need to know everything about the setting and about their role and responsibilities, but not all at once. Here is where a well-planned induction programme is useful; start with the essentials face to face and gradually provide further information in easy-to-read documents that are readily available.
It is good practice to assign new staff members with a mentor or staff buddy, who may undertake some of the induction activities, who will generally make them feel welcome but also be available for the myriad of questions they are likely to have.
Ensure each new member of staff has access to an induction pack of documents and information they will need to be effective. Dependent on role, this may include but not limited to:
- Staff handbook
- School policies and procedures, including safeguarding and whistleblowing
- School development plan
- Calendar and diary dates
- Job description and terms of employment
- Fire, H&S and first aid procedures
- Timetables / rotas / routines / school layout plan
- Staff roles and responsibilities, in particular the SENDCO, PSA, DSL
- Information on pupils / students in their class(es); including pupil premium, LAC/PLAC, SEND
- Schemes of work / curriculum information
Remember to build in time for induction to take place, provide information in a staged process and ensure it is personalised for the staff member and role. This way it is more likely to be successful in ensuring:
- Expectations are clear
- Staff are clear about their role and responsibilities
- Aware of key policies and procedures
- Familiar with the school ethos and values
- They have the required knowledge to contribute to the school effectively
- The process is flexible
- Positive relationships between new and existing staff are fostered
- A system of support is in place
Have you thought about using the Surveys module in Schoolaspect to gather feedback on your school’s induction process? You can also use the Policies module to manage all your school policies and check they’ve been read by all necessary staff.
This blog was written by Bretta Townend-Jowitt, Education Consultant and Trainer.
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