College acronyms: Farewell, NQT – very long dwell the ECT

“Colleagues, we have reached that time in the calendar year when we should unfortunately present our thanks and farewells to college titles, acronyms and abbreviations, heading off to pastures new. 

Though, I’ll be genuine with you, I have not usually been sorry to see them go. When, for instance, our school adopted the national craze and changed the passive-sounding “SMT” (senior management crew) with the far much more revolutionary and Indiana Jonesy “SLT” (senior management crew), it totally changed every little thing close to below, even without the need of the staff itself possessing to alter at all. I believe we’re all agreed on that? 

Many others will remember the collective celebration when we all replaced the hopeless, self-centred “PPD” (particular specialist improvement) with the considerably far more pushed “CPD”: continuing expert progress. Ever given that that smaller but incisive transform, couple academics have appeared again. 

But this summer’s leaver, my pals, was a name that we have all cherished and cherished from the working day it initially arrived. I am deeply unhappy to see it go. Yes, it’s a regretful conclude-of-term stop of term for “NQT”.  

New instructors: Farewell, then, NQT

“NQT” joined us way again in 1999, this new identify bringing a lot-wanted gentle into our entire world next the overdue dismissal of the extended-serving but a little bit doubtful “probationer teacher”. 

“Probationer” lasted all through the 1980s and most of the 1990s – I was one particular myself – but there was always one thing somewhat destabilising about running under that name. Then, as now, it was a time period that parents and youngsters would a lot more readily affiliate with criminal offense than with imaginative new expertise. 

The title lengthy outstayed its welcome. I never ever listened to persons shorten it to “PT”, which suggests it all, definitely. You know something’s severely incorrect when faculties really do not abbreviate. It had to go. Even though I am happy to say that the expression “probationer” is still well known in schools North of the border.

“NQT” seemed the excellent shiny and wholesome distinction. The mere utterance of people letters designed a smile, the complete sound in some way suggestive of fresh hope, vitality and pleasurable. It built us believe of all those outdated Tv set adverts for Timotei shampoo, with visions of pleased NQTs all managing aimlessly as a result of meadows, luxuriant manes of hair flowing powering them. 

The NQT is lifeless. Extended dwell the ECT

So, “NQT”, I am genuinely heartbroken to see you go and all that you meant to us. It has been an complete delight to use and listen to your name all these several years, and I’m still not quite guaranteed why you are leaving us. 

But, as we know, even the very best names have to be despatched packing sooner or later. That’s what we do in schools. 

From September, we welcome in its area “ECT”, brief for “early job teacher”. Some of you might problem irrespective of whether it was important to have a new name and to increase on an extra year to the induction approach, but let us at the very least be civil. 

Do at least get utilised to the new time period “ECT”, and solid to the again of your thoughts any assumed of all those ECG crises you may well have sat by means of watching Casualty, Holby City, Dwelling, and many others. (And try out not to confuse it with “etc” possibly.) 

Let us give this younger new name a likelihood. As I have illustrated, if you glance back at the monitor history of new names in schooling, you will see what complete daily life-changers they can be.”

Stephen Petty is head of humanities at Lord Williams’s College in Thame, Oxfordshire