16th February 2001 at 00:00
Sara Bubb offers advice to students and NQTs

I am 38 and in my first year of a BA QTS, specialising in ICT. I was a director of a small national company and would like to aim for a primary headship. What sort of time scale should I realistically expect for this? As I am doing a key stage 2 and 3 course, would advancement be quicker in secondary schools?

It's good to be ambitious, but remember that you joined the profession to teach, and that is what you must learn to do.

Headteachers have limited opportunities to teach. I have known people to get headships within 10 years, but they are very talented, have been lucky with career opportunities and cope well with stress. If you do well in your degree you could apply for the Fast Track (www.fasttrack The requirements are demanding, but this would accelerate the ath to headship. With your management skills you will be well placed for leading a school, but you need to prove yourself as a teacher first.

As you're only in the first of a four-year course, you have a long way to go. As for which sector to work in, a job in a middle school would be ideal. Otherwise, decide which age group and subjects you feel happiest working with. If you taught in a primary you would have to teach more than ICT. In a secondary, you would probably be expected to teach ICT up to GCSE, not just key stage 3. Primary and secondary schools have a different feel, so think about which you feel happiest in.

For now, work hard and see how you get on. Good luck.

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

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