Q I have been teaching abroad and want to return to the UK. However, I can't seem to be taken seriously.
A Yours is a common problem. However, that doesn't make it any easier for you. Despite the growing teacher shortage in parts of England, some heads and governors do still seem reluctant to accept the value of overseas experience. I can only suggest that you make clear on your CV and any application form how much experience you have of teaching the national curriculum and of preparing for either OFSTED-type inspections or visits from accreditation teams. Finally, although you might feel you are ready for promotion, a sideways move might be easier in the first instance.
Q Where do I find details about the quality of teacher training courses?
A The Teacher Training Agency publishes details about the performance of Initial Teacher Training course providers each September. The details of their latest survey can be found on their website at, canteach.gov.uk (and then search for performance profiles). Of course, like schools, courses change and the information is really only a starting point. As well as details about the grading of each course, ou may also discover the percentage of trainees from each institution who entered teaching along with other helpful information. You may also find some details on the OFSTED website at www.ofsted.gov.uk Q Is it too late to apply for the Fast Track scheme if I want to start training in September?
A Although the first closing date has passed it is still not too late to apply for the scheme; the next closing date is January 30 2001. This is to allow time for the assessment process to take place. If successful, you will be required to train at one of the designated Fast Track training centres located in different parts of the country. Check out www.fasttrackteaching.gov.uk for more details.
Q I have a degree in Russian - can I train to be a languages teacher?
A The University of Nottingham offers a PGCE in Russian with French or German. There are also 43 Modern Foreign Languages PGCEs listed on the GTTR website that may be prepared to consider someone with a degree in Russian. However, there are probably very few schools that now teach the subject, so you might need to be able to teach another language, at least for part of the week.