Case in point on disparity of status

19th June 2009 at 01:00

Your article "Give lecturers status to work in schools, MPs told"(June 12) rings very true in my own case.

I have a degree, and in 1990 completed a certificate in education (FE) at the then Thames Polytechnic. Since that time, I have worked in further education for nine years, in an international secondary for six years, and was able for several years to work as a supply teacher in mainstream secondaries. All these posts have been within the subjects I took for my cert ed: drama and special needs education.

However, when I was offered a full-time job in the "transition phase" (14- 19) of a special school in September 2008, I was only able to be paid as a non-qualified teacher as I did not have qualified teacher status (QTS). To gain this, I am now completing the "assessment-based only" (Abo) route to QTS offered by the University of Gloucestershire.

I have enjoyed going through this process, although completing the portfolio of evidence against the standards has been very hard work.

Two things rankle, however. When I completed my cert ed, all students received a letter from Thames Polytechnic stating that QTS would be granted if those holding the cert ed (FE) obtained posts in mainstream schools. I have sent copies of this letter several times to the General Teaching Council, but it is always rejected.

Second, I have had to take a salary cut of nearly Pounds 10,000 while employed as a non-qualified teacher this year, and although I understand that I should eventually catch up, it has made this a difficult year financially, and I am concerned about the long-term effect on my pension.

I would recommend the Abo route to anyone in my position, but warn that it is no stroll in the park. And you'll have to be prepared to take a massive, if temporary, salary cut.

Andrew Colley, Teacher.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today