Not good enough to teach here

18th June 2004 at 01:00
I was born in the UK in 1971 and emigrated to Australia with my parents at eight years old. I later took a BSc in mathematics and physics and then a graduate certificate in secondary education.

For the next nine years I taught in Australia with a short stint of supply teaching in the UK.

This year I decided to experience more of what UK schools had to offer. My, how things have changed.

You now require an in-depth Criminal Records Bureau clearance.Then I need qualified teacher status (QTS) to be allowed to teach in UK schools. This involved sending my Australian qualifications to the National Recognition Information Centre (along with pound;35) to have them compared with UK qualifications. Thankfully, I was up to the mark.

However, I stilI need to retrain for between three months and a year. But this covers what I've been doing for the past decade.

I can't work as a supply teacher until I have registered with the local education authority. I can't register until I have QTS, I can't get QTS until I have a job at a school which recommends me for the training. I can only work as an unqualified teacher.

But there is a way round - a teaching agency. It takes all the need for QTS away and around 35 per cent of your wages. So there we have it, I've made it to the classroom.

Steve Cormack 37 Bellevue Road, Swansea

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