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Sara Bubb offers advice to students and NQTs

I am an NQT in my second term. When will Ireceive my golden hello and will it be subject to income tax?

The rules about golden hellos are confusing. Even the term is misleading because you only get the pound;4,000 in the term after you've passed induction so you'll have to wait until the autumn. It's not so much "Hello" as "Thank you for staying". It's subject to tax and national insurance but isn't pensionable. It will be shown as a separate entry on your salary slip.

There is some small print that you need to know about. These are the details for England - arrangements are similar for Wales but not for other parts of the United Kingdom. You're eligible if in the past year or two you did a PGCE in secondary maths, science, English, modern foreign languages, design and technology or information and communications technology. Other subjects and routes such as the graduate teacher programme, BA (QTS) or BEd don't count, but teachers with recent primary PGCEs may be eligible if they teach the shortage subject they specialised in to classes other than their own.

You need to be teaching the same shortage subject that you trained in and be on at least a one-term contract in a maintained secondary school or non-maintained special school. You can't get it if you work for a supply agency. Schools with city technology college status, sixth-form colleges and independent schools don't have to give golden hellos as they're not governed by the same regulations - but there's no harm in asking.

The last hassle is that you aren't automatically given the money-you have to claim it. Use the form given to you when you originally claimed the training incentive at college. I hope you still have it! It must be signed by the head of department, headteacher or deputy to confirm you're still teaching the shortage subject you trained for and have completed induction. Then you send it to your local authority.

E-mail questions to susan.young Sara Bubb cannot enter into personal correspondence. More questions at

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