Your career and pay questions answered by John Howson


I am just entering my final year at university and want to become a primary school teacher. When should I apply for a place on a PGCE course?


If you have already been to see your careers service, you will probably have been told that most primary post-graduate courses tend to fill up quickly, even though all applications received during the autumn are supposed to be given equal consideration. Check the Graduate Teacher Training Registry website ( to see from which date applications for courses starting in 2003 will be accepted. This year, you should be able to apply electronically, and be able to follow the progress of your application online.

Don't forget to check if you are also eligible for the separate fast-track scheme operated by the Department for Education and Skills. This isn't part of the GTTR applications process; neither is the Open University, although that course is not specifically designed for those who are about to leave university.


Earlier this year, an article that was published in The TES seemed to indicate that if an FE lecturer had been working in a school under the School Teachers' Pay and Conditions rules for two of the previous five years prior to thresholding, he or she was entitled to apply for thresholding. Is this the case?


Any lecturer who transfers into a school and is paid at the top of the classroom teachers' pay scale would need to accumulate two years'-worth of evidence before becoming eligible for assessment to transfer to the upper pay spine.

Those appointed lower down the pay spine will presumably accumulate evidence as they progress up the spine, and will have sufficient documentation available for assessment by the time they reach the top of the spine.

John Howson is visiting professor at Oxford Brookes University and managing director or Education Data Surveys. Do you have a career question for him?


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