Since September 1999, all Newly Qualified Teachers (NQTs) in England who wish to teach in the maintained sector have to complete an induction period. In the light of the introduction of this statutory policy, this paper critically examines the key role of the school based induction tutor in managing the process. It draws upon an analysis of the government’s induction circulars (DfEE/S 1999;2000;2001) and uses empirical data from a large, national DfES-funded project which evaluated the implementation of the policy. We argue that, for the majority of schools the work of the induction tutor within the whole school context, including management by the headteacher, is the major factor in the success of the policy. Further, we argue that there remain some tensions in the policy between the professional development and the assessment agenda
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