Dear John: I quit before completing my NQT. How do I get back into teaching?


I did a science (physics) PGCE many years ago and spent two terms as a secondary science teacher, so never completed my NQT year. I then had a two year break before starting to teach adult maths classes on a part time basis. Post children, I would now like to return to secondary teaching as a full time maths teacher. I have tried applying straight off and been unsuccessful. I can’t get supply as all the local schools have ‘learning managers’ rather than using supply teachers. Would I be eligible to start from scratch and do a maths PGCE?



Normally, you won’t receive any funding for a second PGCE however long ago you first one was completed. There is also the fact that you did not complete your NQT year, and may now be out of time to do so. This would seem to leave only the Graduate Training Programme as an alternative to regain Qualified Teaching Status. I would ask the Training and Development Agency whether there are any ‘return to teaching’ courses in your region where you can discuss your specific circumstances as well as talk through any updating you may need. Personally, I think you might find it easier to return as a physics teacher and negotiate some maths teaching once you have found a teaching post.

As an alternative, you could contact any local independent schools to see whether they have vacancies for maths or physics teachers.