23rd March 2001 at 00:00
Sara Bubb offers advice to students and NQTs.

I'm a single mum finding full-time study for a PGCE in secondary science difficult. Can I do my NQT year as a part-time teacher?

Yes, you can do your induction period part-time. This would give you more time for your child and you could supplement your income with supply work, if you felt up to it.

But there are drawbacks to working part-time. It will take you longer to complete induction because you have to do the equivalent of an academic year. So if you worked for two-and-a-half days a week, your induction period would last two years.

Part-time work is also more difficult to find so you might not end up in the school of your dreams. But that may not be such a problem as you are a science teacher - a rare comodity. And your timetable may mean you have to go into school most days, but only to teach a few lessons. This may mean you have no time to do other things.

People often expect you to attend meetings without realising that you won't be paid for them. If you don't go, you may end up wishing you had, attending unpaid, so you know what is happening.

Finally, remember that as a part-timer you get paid substantially less, but planning, preparation and marking will expand to fit the extra hours available. You will need to set clear limits on your work or you'll feel that you might as well be working full-time.

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

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