Dear John: How do I switch from primary to secondary teaching?


I am at present working as a primary teacher but am considering a move to secondary. Do i need to retrain to do this? I have a business degree but would ideally love to teach english, however am willing to do either. What do you advise to make this a reality?


Most questioners want to go in the other direction, but the advice is the same. QTS allows you to teach secondary age children, so no retraining is available. You can apply for business studies posts now, and see what happens. Even if a school offered you some English it might not be an attractive timetable until you had proved your worth in the secondary sector as, generally, there is now no shortage of secondary trained teachers.

I don’t advocate going down the supply route as supply work is reducing in the secondary sector with cover staff. However, some schools and academies do look for primary trained teachers, so watch out in the TES for the adverts next term.


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