Careers advice

23rd February 2001 at 00:00
Q I graduated in Russian and French ten years ago and then did a PGCE course. I effectively completed two terms of the three-term course, but was required to leave in the April, when it was confirmed that I had not met the entrance requirements for the course - my GCSE O-level equivalent in mathematics was not the standard I claimed.

I completed the majority of the Modern Language method and Educational and Professional Studies course. I had also completed two blocks of teaching practice and been awarded 'pass grades' for both. My teaching practices totalled fourteen weeks in schools.

I have enrolled for GSCE maths which I'll be taking in May. What more do I need in order to obtain QTS?

A You don't say what you have been doing in the past ten years since the unfortunate problem with your maths qualification. Personally, unless you deliberately misled the admissions tutor, I am disappointed that the university took such a hard line with you.

However, as you may have been out of schools for 10 years during which time much has changed, two possible routes are worth considering.

Firstly, look for one of the new modular PGCE courses and see if you an gain some credit for your past studies.

Secondly, try to find a school that will offer to train you on the employment-based route and negotiate a training plan that recognises your past training. Unfortunately, the length of time that has passed since you took your PGCE means that you are unlikely to be given full credit for everything you passed ten years ago.

Q I keep hearing about the pay deal in Scotland. Is there anything to stop me applying for a teaching post there?

A If you want to move just because of what you have heard about the salary rises in Scotland, you should do your homework very carefully to see if you would actually benefit.

The Department for Education and Employment has been keen to demonstrate that not all teachers would benefit, at least in the first year. However, part of the Scottish settlement relates to working conditions, and any improvement in these may seem an attractive proposition.

You will need to check your qualifications with the General Teaching Council for Scotland to see if they are acceptable. Their information about qualifications for teachers from England can be found at

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