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A Critical Friend



Staff at Dormers Wells High School in Southall have developed a mentoring system for NQTs over many years. With regular critical analysis of teaching technique, they feel that building the confidence and skills of its newly qualified teachers is vital to the school's continuing achievement.

Alka Bhagat and Justin Guntrip take responsibility for mentoring and supporting the newly qualified staff at the school. At the heart of this widely-praised support work lies classroom observation. Each NQT is observed at least six times, supported by feedback and target-setting sessions.

The programme offers newly qualified teachers and their mentors an insight into a constructive and supportive approach to the first year in a classroom.

The school recommends that NQTs should:

  • Welcome classroom observation
  • Not be afraid of critical feedback

Mentors should:

  • Try and write down everything that happens in the lesson and give a detailed written minute-by minute account
  • Make comparisons with previous assessments to monitor improvement
  • Focus on teaching technique above behaviour management

Published : Feb 2005

15 mins


Secondary Management


Secondary NQT

Whole School Issues

Secondary Coaching and Mentoring


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