19th January 2001 at 00:00
Sara Bubb offers advice to students and NQTs

Our son completed a PGCE in July 1999. He studied for a further year and from last autumn started doing odd weeks and days of supply teaching. He is travelling for a year from May. How will the DfEE know that he has been teaching and started his one year and a term? Would he do better to start his induction year on his return in May 2002 and say nothing about his supply teaching to date?

I think your son needs to start his induction as soon as possible. The longer he leaves it the harder it will be to complete - things change so quickly in education.

His supply teaching will keep him up to date to an extent, but he needs a long-term placement so that he can really develop his skills, particularly planning and assessment. It's a shame that he in't working in the same school this term because that could count as one of his three terms of induction, and he'd get the support he needs.

I recommend he gets a full-time job as soon as he gets back in May 2002, or does supply while applying for a position starting in September. He will then complete his induction year. Either way, he can do supply for only four terms - this is to protect him and ensure a good deal for the children he teaches. The fact that he hasn't worked on supply every day is immaterial: one day counts as having worked as a supply teacher in that term. And he must declare the supply teaching on job application forms.

Email your questions to Bubb regrets she cannot enter into correspondence. More of your questions answered at

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