Q My school is having great problems filling a senior post. We're considering offering more money, but that would seriously erode the differential between my salary as headteacher and the most senior member of my staff. What can we do?
A It is important to maintain the differential between yourself and other staff. However, much will depend upon whether you need to pay a temporary recruitment supplement or a permanent addition to the teacher's salary. If they are on the leadership scale the latter is more likely.
You should draw the problem to the attention of your chair of governors and also ask your professional association for evidence of salary trends in schools of comparable size and location.
Q How do I become an HMI, rather than an "inspector"?
A The post of Her Majesty's Inspector of schools has a long and honourable history going back to the start of state-funded education in England more than 150 years ago.
Most of those who inspect schools these days are appointed with a limited brief to conduct inspections. However, some HMIs are appointed following adverisements in the national and educational press. HMIs are usually experts in particular fields of education and teaching but can be called upon to undertake a wider range of work than inspections.
How their role will develop in the future will depend on the views of the new chief inspector who will replace Chris Woodhead.
The system in Wales is slightly different.
Q I've just finished my first term of a PGCE in history. When should I start applying for teaching posts?
A Your first point of contact should be the TES First Appointments section published today. Once you know the area where you want to look for jobs, consider registering with the TES job site. This will help to identify advertisements you may want to read in more detail in the paper.
If you want a post in a particular location it is better to start applying earlier rather than later but in any case by the end of this term. However, if the past two years are any guide, there will still be lots of posts advertised next term.
Ask your course leader and college career's service for advice too.