It is important that the Student Teacher arrives at his/her placement school with a clear understanding of what is expected and required. The Student Teacher must recognise that they are expected to take on the professional attributes of a teacher from the start and to behave professionally at all times in University and school and that, for the duration of the placements, have the same obligations and rights as full members of staff. These professional responsibilities are clearly outlined in the Preamble and statement on Personal and Professional Conduct in the Teachers’ Standards (DFE, 2013).
Guidance for Part two standard: Personal and Professional Conduct
A Student Teacher is expected to demonstrate excellent standards of personal and professional conduct. It is expected that Student Teachers will adhere to the dress code and Code of Conduct of the Partnership. The statements in part two of the Standards define the behaviour and attitudes that set the required standard for conduct throughout a teacher’s career. Much of the evidence for this section will be found in other Standards and Student Teachers achieving good or outstanding grades will also demonstrate excellent practice in part 2. Specific detail regarding code of conduct and relevant legislation will be addressed through the course.
Engagement & Attendance
Student Teachers should treat the course as if already in professional employment: 100% attendance and punctuality is an expectation for both University- and school-based work.
Student Teachers are expected to adhere to schools’ dress codes and policies (e.g. behaviour management), and to uphold their values and ethos. Student Teachers are expected to plan, prepare, teach and assess the class(es) that they are responsible for and to keep appropriate records of the pupils and to make these available to the Mentor, PCM and Link Tutor as requested. It is an expectation that Student Teachers demonstrate professional courtesy and respect for all members of the Partnership (including pupils) at all times and in all contexts. This should be demonstrated through tone of both oral and written communication, including electronic communication.
Any absence or lateness should be explained and, where possible, identified in advance, in order that appropriate alternative arrangements can be made to cover teaching and other commitments. The Profile of Professional Development (Profile Document) contains a record of completed school-based days. Student teachers should also complete the Record of Student Teacher Attendance document and keep it in their files. Student Teachers’ attendance and punctuality on all aspects of the programme will be stated explicitly in their University reference. 100% attendance is expected but leave of absence may be approved in exceptional circumstances. The following process should be followed:
- Student to complete the Leave of Absence form in discussion with Personal Tutor and email it to the Taught Programmes Office CBASS-TPO-GASK@brunel.ac.uk (please allow at least 5 days). The Student Teacher will be notified in writing about the outcome of the application.
- If the absence is approved by the University, you must send confirmation to the mentor and PCM and follow the school’s policy on absence.
Process for unplanned absence/ lateness:
The Student Teacher is required to:
- Email the Personal Tutor in the case of all unplanned absences and copy this to the Taught Programmes Office (CBASS-TPO-GASK@brunel.ac.uk).
- Notify the school before the start of the school day. It is the Student Teacher’s responsibility to know and adhere to the partnership school’s procedures for notification of staff absences/ lateness.
- In the case of illness lasting 5 days or less, we ask that the Student Teacher certify this in writing to us, through the Taught Programmes Office for any sessions missed.
- If the Student Teacher is absent for more than 5 days, please follow the procedures outlined by the Department for Work and Pensions: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-fit-note-a-guide-for-patients-and-employees
If you are absent from a university session you must obtain materials from the session (e.g. from Blackboard Learn, or from a fellow student) and complete any associated tasks. This work should be filed with your Record of Student Teacher Attendance document. If you are absent from school placement you may be required to complete an extension to the final placement.
Absence issues to note:
- Absence for interviews is permitted as it is related to professional development. However, wherever possible, additional visits to schools should take place outside of teaching commitments.
Where there are concerns about a student teacher’s attendance
If attendance falls below a satisfactory standard, these concerns will normally be discussed in an additional tutorial with the personal tutor. Depending on the circumstances, the student may need to consider interrupting their studies, or withdrawing from the programme. Please see the guidance about Abeyances and Withdrawals on the intranet:
Continuing attendance concerns will be followed up by the course leader. Absence from school placement may affect a student teacher’s ability to meet the Teachers’ Standards at the required level, and may result in failing to complete a placement successfully. Students in this situation should provide details of Mitigating Circumstances (or Extenuating Circumstances). The Mitigating Circumstances process enables representation to be made at the Exam Board on the Student Teacher’s behalf if there is a substantial period of absence which impacts upon his/her ability to complete assessment or school based work. The Exam Board may approve a repeat placement. Repeat placements may take place in the following academic year and may delay the student teacher’s progress into employment.
Where there are concerns about professionalism, e.g. absences that cannot be explained by illness or other mitigating circumstances, or where insufficient evidence of reasons for absence is provided, these will be referred to the Fitness to Practice Panel.
Where there are concerns about a student teacher’s health and wellbeing, which are affecting their ability to study on the course or to complete their school placement, these concerns will be dealt with following the university Fitness to Study policy.