Teacher shortages and retention problems occur globally. This paper explores support for Newly Qualified Teachers (NQTs), in particular the role of mentoring. Reasons for mentoring NQTs include combating isolation and fostering collaboration, enhancing professional practice and retaining teachers in the profession. Three different national environments are compared, with teacher induction programmes at national and local levels providing support for NQTs. We contrast the situation in Scotland, an early adopter of a national teacher induction scheme (2002), with that of Malta where an induction programme has been in place since 2010 and Denmark where there is no national scheme, but some support may be organised at a municipal or school level. In all three countries challenges were found in the enactment of mentoring such as having time for observation and feedback but also in terms of how to mentor. Based on our findings we propose that both mentors and NQTs need time away from their teaching commitments to devote to their mentoring relationship. Furthermore, it would appear from our analysis that while a national induction scheme is important to promote the induction of NQTs, support for the transition into the teaching profession also depends on the individual school context.
Bibliographical noteThe research conducted in Scotland was funded by the Scottish Government
- comparative research
- newly qualified teachers
- teacher induction