A guide to staff induction

The Key
The Key
If you're planning induction for new staff for the start of September, we have tips and a checklist that may prove helpful. Use these to ensure new employees buy into your school's culture and settle into their role well.

Be clear about who will be responsible for induction

This is important, otherwise your programmes can become disorganised. Choose whether to have:

  • One person responsible for induction throughout the school
  • The respective line managers responsible for inductions
  • Different people responsible for teaching staff and support staff induction

Prepare beforehand

Set up ICT accounts and internet access and take care of any other administrative tasks before the new member of staff arrives.

Communicate clearly with them before their first day. For example, you could email them details such as the dress code and lunchtime procedures, or send them an induction pack to help them prepare.

Make sure induction covers, as a minimum…

  • A brief overview of your school and your management structure
  • Conditions of employment, for example hours of work and holidays
  • Procedures relating to sickness notification
  • Health and safety arrangements
  • Safeguarding

Find further areas you could cover in this guidance from the National College of Teaching and Leadership. Your designated safeguarding lead (DSL) must cover safeguarding as early in induction as possible. You should also schedule a second session with the safeguarding lead after 3 to 4 weeks to allow the staff member to ask questions and clarify anything they might not have fully understood.

Provide important documents

You should give your staff all the materials they need to do their job well. This should form their induction pack, and will include:

  • The job description for the post, with line management information
  • Your staff handbook. Read more about what a staff handbook should cover (login needed)
  • The school improvement plan, self-evaluation form and any relevant subject/departmental action plans
  • Any relevant subject, department or year handbooks
  • Any relevant policies that may not be included in your staff handbook
  • Your most recent inspection report

Spread the induction out

Ensure induction takes place across a number of days or weeks, rather than condensing it into one morning or afternoon. This helps to ensure understanding and avoid overloading the new staff member.

Cover the essentials on the first day, and leave anything they don’t need to know straight away until later on.

Once the formal induction is over, informally check in on them every so often to make sure they understand everything.

Provide a ‘buddy’

Consider assigning new members of staff a peer they can speak to informally about anything involved with induction. 

You could also consider pairing them up with a pupil, as some schools do. This ‘pupil mentor’ might meet the new staff member in the first week and answer any questions they have about life at the school from the pupil perspective.

Evaluate the success of your programme

Conduct an honest evaluation to determine whether your induction programme is having the impact you’re hoping for. Are you getting positive feedback from new staff?

Some staff members may prefer different ways of learning that you could consider, such as using webinars or apps on phones.

Comprehensive and effective induction processes will:

  • Help your new staff understand and buy into your school’s culture and objectives
  • Support you in improving your staff retention

For further guidance and links to other resources on the subject of induction, click here. For hundreds of other resources on all areas of school leadership and management, visit thekeysupport.com/SL

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