15th September 2000 at 01:00
Sara Bubb's advice for students and NQTs My university is withholding the official results of my PGCE, which I have passed, because I cannot pay all my fees. I have asked if the debt can be paid off over my induction year, but they have refused. What is my position and who could help me?

What a stressful start to your career. But your university is quite within its rights to withhold your qualification since you are what is unpleasantly known as a debtor. They sound fairly implacable, so it's probably not worth trying to negotiate further, but maintain friendly and professional contact. Your date of gaining qualified teacher status won't alter as this willhave been decided by the university.

The immediate problem is how to handle your school. I think you need to come clean about the situation - don't try to hide it from them. I'm sre they will be understanding. Explain that you will probably not have your career entry profile until the debt has been settled. Perhaps you kept a copy of the strengths and areas for development, orcan remember them. Anyway, you can start settingyourself objectives basedon your present teachingand on induction standards.

You need to pay the fees as soon as possible. You could either pay monthly amounts from your salary or get a loan. Your bank should be understanding as you're going to be having a regular salary.

For further advice, contact the student welfare office or students' union at your university, who will be experienced in these matters. Don't let this business distract you from making a success of your induction.

Email your questions to: Bubb cannot enter into personal correspondence

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