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Careers advice

Q I shall be finishing my PGCE this year (secondary, history) and shall be looking for my first teaching post. My ultimate aim is to teach in America. How do I go about securing a teaching post in the USA and what, if any, extra qualifications would I need?

A You do not say why you want to teach in the USA. Is it for family reasons or because you think you have enjoyed visits to America as a student? Whatever your ultimate aim, you should think seriously about teaching in England after you qualify, at least for long enough to complete your induction period. This would make it easier to return to teaching in this country at some later date, if you wanted to.

One way of learning more about the American education system is to work in an international school that caters for both US and UK children. Whilst teaching something like the national curriculum, you could discover how US children learn and the different testing regimes they encounter. As a historian you would probably need to know a lot more about American history than you do at present. It might be worth looking for a summer school run by an American university.

To work in the USA you would need a work permit. This may be easier to obtain to teach in a private school than in the 'public schools'where you would also need to comply with the teacher certification rules in the state where you wanted to teach. However, as many parts of the USA will be facing teacher shortages over the next few years, some state education systems may be more willing than others to offer teaching posts to 'uncertified teachers'. However, many of these posts will probably be in the schools that local teachers don't want to teach in.

There are now many internet sites advertising teaching jobs across the USA. Although designed for US teachers, they will also help provide some ideas about the teachers schools are looking for.

Q What will I be earning as an NQT in September?

A Assuming you have at least a second class honours degree, you should start on pound;17,001. Other graduates will start on pound;16,038. London allowances and recruitment and retention allowances would be added on top of this.

Q What has happened to the Advanced Skills Teacher post?

A They are still around and were given a boost in the recent Green Paper with the Government saying they "intend to increase the number of ASTs sharply". Such teachers will be able to earn up to pound;44,600 (pound;47,600 in London).

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