It's best to start fresh

27th February 2004 at 00:00
Advice for teachers in their early career

There is no time limit on gaining your teaching qualification and starting your induction year. Once you start induction you should complete it within five years, although if you don't, your time is automatically extended.

It makes sense to do induction as soon as possible while all you've learnt is fresh, up-to-date and in context. If you fail induction, you won't be allowed to teach in a state school or non-maintained special school in England.

There are time limits for receiving the pound;4,000 golden hello (if you trained in a shortage subject) and to have you student loans repaid. If your PGCE is in secondary maths, science, modern languages, technology, IT, design and technology or English (including drama), you should receive the pound;4,000 in the term after you've completed induction, as long as it is within five years of gaining qualified teacher status.

If you get a job teaching shortage subjects in a state school within seven months of qualifying, the Government will repay, over time, any loans you took out with the Student Loan Company during your degree and PGCE.

Many people consider going abroad to teach after they have qualified. But the Teacher Training Agency warns that you may not be able to work in some countries unless you have completed induction. But you must complete the induction period in the first year that you teach in England. Having taught abroad won't damage your chances of finding a job in England, but you will be competing with people who are fresh out of training and who have knowledge of the latest developments in education.

Employers may feel that your professionalism has been enriched by teaching abroad, but they may question your commitment to the job and their school, or be irritated by someone who has done a PGCE with a pound;6,000 training salary who then goes abroad.

The jobs market is tough so be ready to work hard to get a decent post.

There will always be schools with vacancies, but many of them will have challenging circumstances and a high staff turnover - not brilliant places to do induction.

For information on working abroad, see the TTA website: www.tta.gov.uk

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