Dear John: Where next for my career?


I have been teaching for nearly 3 years since qualifying as an NQT. I would just like to know what the next steps are as I move forward in my professional development.

At the moment I teach foundation stage and am the RE coordinator; how do I become a middle teacher? (a couple of teachers at the moment are doing middle management course).

Also, what steps do I need to take to move onto TLR1/2? I was never given any advice in my NQT year how to further develop my career. I would be very grateful for your advice, thank you!


The TES is launching a new one to one career advice service designed for people such as you. In an answer online I can only cover the basics. You need to decide in what direction you want your career to go. A TLR will mean extra responsibility, and you will need to acquire additional skills and knowledge if you are going to be successful. Professional development ranges from one day courses, informal learning through to accredited courses leading to a higher degree. After three years, you may wish to start looking at these courses and decide whether there might be a TLR in a larger school for either RE or humanities co-ordination along with perhaps another area. A glance through the TES or the online job site will show you what types of jobs are available.


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