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Typical cases from the FENTO helpline files

Harry is a software developer who wants to teach computing. He has a BSc computing science (software) engineering degree, and is currently completing a part-time MSc degree. But he has no teaching qualifications or experience.

Advice: His industrial experience combined with his degree makes him well qualified to teach. There are also new incentives to teach ICT. He may be able to get funding to repay his student loan, if he has one. He may be due for a golden hello in his second year of teaching. He can start teaching as long as he is working towards a teaching qualification.

Miriam is a psychology graduate and chartered accountant. For the past six years she has been at home looking after her children. She wants a rewarding job that fits in with her family responsibilities, and a new challenge. Essentially she is interested in a career in adult education, teaching maths andor accountancy, or business studies with economics.

Advice: She is given extensive advice about the routes into FE. She is also advised to contact Paulo, the national training organisation for adult education (01476 514628).

A well-qualified Chinese man wants to teach physics in FE. He holds both a BSc and MSc in electronics, from Beijing University, plus a doctorate from Exeter. He knows there is a PGCE course for FE. Does he need to find a post before the training course? Would the teacher training registry find one for him?

Advice: If he does a full-time PGCE his college will find an appropriate placement for him. If part-time he would need to find a certain amount of teaching work to fulfil the contract hours requirements. Some training organisations offer bursaries, but may set conditions. Check out the Fento website. His local education authority will say if he is eligible to have his tuition fees paid.

An English teacher in Nigeria, with degrees in history, who has written books for children, wrote to Fento to apply for a job teaching in the UK.

Advice: She was told Fento does not hold a list of vacancies. "The main source of adverts can be found in the TES," her adviser said.

(Names have been changed)

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