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The impact of newly qualified teachers (NQT) induction programmes on the enhancement of teacher expertise, professional development, job satisfaction or retention rates: a systematic review of research literature on induction

What do we want to know?

The main aim of this report is to identify and map studies that shed light on the impact of induction programmes for newly qualified teachers on teacher performance, career development and retention rates.

Who wants to know?

Policy-makers, those involved in teacher training, teachers.

What did we find?  

These findings must be considered tentative as they are based on two reports, both considered by the Review Group to be of low quality.

  • There must be clarity about the goals of an induction programme.  Establishing this clarity can take time, and will need a lengthy period of piloting and evaluation.
  • New teachers need to be given reduced teaching assignments and structured opportunities for collaborative planning, goal-setting and review with mentors; similarly mentors require selection, preparation, release time and incentives for helping new teachers.
  • Effective training and professional development need to be provided to support all role groups - new teachers, their mentors and principals.
  • Good induction programmes, when combined with attractive pay and conditions, can make a measurable difference in improving the short-term retention of teachers.
  • Political and financial support is essential at all levels and must translate into realistic resources.
  • Trends in teacher induction should include a move to professional development in the first three years of teaching, with certification being part of this process.

What are the implications?

Implications from these findings must be considered tentative.

  • The overriding policy implication is that adapting national conceptions to local situations seems to be the best way to proceed. There is clearly a trend to see induction as part of a continuum and to extend support for new teachers beyond their induction year into the first three years of teaching via some form of structured (as opposed to merely episodic) early professional development.

  • The purpose of induction must be clarified, and supported by a set of regulations, standards and protocols.

  • There is a need to provide financial resources that can be deployed cost-effectively and efficiently, while devolving budgetary, management and quality responsibility to allow flexibility and diversity.

  • A performance-based system is needed, predicated on standards aimed at defining what a new teacher should know and be able to do and developing assessment procedures that can evaluate teachers' attainment of the standards in fair and reliable ways. Issues of standardising entitlement, support, new teacher assessment and certification/registration dictate a more consistent and dependable experience of induction across settings than is the case at present.

How did we get these results?

Two studies were reviewed in depth; they were published in 1999 and 2002, and both related to the 'Beginning Educator Support Program' in Connecticut.

This summary was prepared by the EPPI Centre

This report should be cited as: Totterdell M, Woodroffe L, Bubb S, Hanrahan K (2004) The impact of NQT induction programmes on the enhancement of teacher expertise, professional development, job satisfaction or retention rates: a systematic review of research on induction. In: Research Evidence in Education Library. London: EPPI Centre, Social Science Research Unit, Institute of Education.

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