In search of a school

5th December 2003 at 00:00
Your job and career questions answered

Q: I've just hit 40. I have several years' experience of working for the Church to set up a charity. I also worked in the civil service for several years at low-to-middle management level. I am now looking to change my career direction and am thinking about moving into teaching once I have completed my MA in theology. I am not sure whether to opt for teaching RE at secondary level (I understand that there is a major shortage of RE teachers) with history andor English as my other subjects, or to teach at primary level. My only relevant experience is one year spent working as a volunteer at a special needs school. I would like to advance as quickly as possible career-wise. Any advice?

A: You are faced with a number of options. One is to apply for a primary PGCE first - closing date for applications is this month. If you are unsuccessful, or decide that primary school teaching is not for you, then you can switch your application and opt to take up a secondary RE specialist course. Many of these have vacancies right through to the summer. You will, though, need to explain why you changed your mind. Try to visit some schools as soon as possible to help you clarify whether general class teaching in primary schools or specialist RE in secondary schools is what seems more appropriate for you.

If you have a question for John Howson, please email susan.young@tes.co.uk

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