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Q I am finishing my BEd this year and want to spend a couple of years teaching in London. How do I find out about the options open to me?
A There are over 30 local authorities serving the capital each with its own procedures and attitudes to recruitment. Many local authorities employ recruitment strategy managers to help with developing policies to attract staff to their boroughs.
The Teacher Training Agency sponsored a Teaching in London event last weekend when local authorities and training providers explained career opportunities in the London area for teachers. You can check the TTA's website (www.teach-tta.gov.uk) for more information about recruitment and a list of advisers in each London borough.
Q I want to work with my LEA's unit for hearing-impaired children. Do the threshold payments still apply to these posts? Does it matter that I would be centrally employed rather than on the staff of a specific school?
A There is a certain amount of confusion surrounding this point. It seems to depend on how the amended order introducing the threshold scheme is interpreted. There are certainly procedures coverig those who are centrally employed in the final version of the order covering arrangements for the scheme, so taking any payment with you, if you already qualify, should not be a problem. The issue seems to centre around whether or not you can meet the requirements to qualify due to the nature of the work as a centrally employed teacher.
Q How do I find out about vacancies on the Graduate Teacher Programme in the south London area? How frequently do these posts come up? Where should I be looking for information?
A The Graduate Teacher Programme is designed to allow students to work in schools whilst training. After a revamp the financial incentives used to encourage schools to become involved are now quite generous. Sadly, as your question implies, finding out about schools willing to participate in the scheme is still not easy. All I can suggest is either you contact the recruitment strategy managers in the boroughs you would like to work in or ask the Teacher Training Agency to point you in the direction of schools that have expressed an interest.
You could also contact schools in the locality which advertise vacancies to see whether they would be willing to take you on as a trainee.