Dear John: How can I move from secondary teaching to FE/HE?


I am an experienced secondary English teacher; I have an MA Hons and PGCE qualifications, and have Chartered London Teacher Status. I have been a sixth form tutor and teach A-level standard and also moderate and examine as well.

I’m considering moving from secondary to FE/HE as I am finding myself quite discouraged by working in secondary for a variety of reasons. I am finding myself in a bit of a quandry; I’ve only just started at my new school and I am already feeling weary and demotivated.

Anyway, any help or advice you can give would be most appreciated


Unless you have a higher degree, HE teaching is likely to be a non-starter. Even teacher training will need some form of higher degree and experience with students. As to the FE sector, if there are sixth form colleges locally, that may offer a route to more ‘A’ level teaching but a general FE college might bring as mixed a timetable as you have at present, although with older teenagers and adults, and, yes, it might well mean evening work. Without responsibilities, pay may be less than in teaching and job security will vary depending upon the type of post you were recruited for.

Have you considered the private sector or an academy where both may be free of some of the restrains you are finding so tough?As you say you have just started at a new school, is this no better than the previous one, and might it partly be because you are an unknown quantity.


John Howson worked as a secondary school teacher in London for seven years before moving into teacher trainingandconsultancy,including a brief period as a chief government advisor. John is now a recruitment analyst, visiting professorofeducation atOxfordBrookes University and hosts our Career Clinic where you can post questions to him.