Where do I start?

15th November 2002 at 00:00
Sara Bubb offers advice to students and NQTs

I'm 32 and have worked in engineering for about 10 years, including several years in management. I'm in my last year of a three-year BEd course. When I apply for jobs, should I expect to be paid more than the normal NQT rate due to my age and experience? I don't want more if it makes getting a post difficult. What should I do?

All new teachers start at the bottom of the pay scale, M1, where the basic salary is pound;17,595. There is the possibility of starting on a higher point on the scale (M2 is pound;18,984), but decisions are made on an individual basis. There are no national "rules". It is up to individual teachers to be proactive in asking for extra points and providing reasons for how their experience is relevant to what they'll be doing. You shouldn't worry about schools thinking you'll be expensive. Most will assume you'll be paid on M1, unless you ask for more.

I started induction in September and would like to work somewhere else next year. As my induction ends in July, will I have to give three months'

notice, that is, resign in April? How would resigning affect my induction period?

Unless you have an unusual contract, there are only three resignation points in a year for teachers: October 31, February 28 and May 31. If you are on a permanent contract, you'll have to resign by May 31. If you have a one-year contract, there is no obligation to resign as the contract ends at the end of the school year. But many people will assume you'll be happy for your contract to be renewed, so you might want to make your intentions clear. Working to the end of the summer term entitles you to holiday pay, so you'll be officially employed until August 31.

There should be no knock-on effect on your induction year from resigning at the end of May. Any conclusions on your competence must be based on evidence and monitoring of your teaching, and written down in observation feedback, half-termly reviews of progress and the end of term assessment forms. You shouldn't be discriminated against because you're leaving, though I'd keep your plans to yourself until May. You don't want people to think that you're not committed to the school - and you may change your mind as the year progresses.

Make sure you work hard to meet your objectives and make the most of induction to help you become a good and effective teacher.

Are you a student or NQT? Email your questions to: susan.young@newsint.co.uk. Sara Bubb's A Newly Qualified Teacher's Manual: how to meet the induction standards is published by David Fulton, pound;16.

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