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Where do I start?

Sara Bubb offers advice to students and NQTs

I got my secondary PGCE in 1999. I have not yet done an induction year and have spent the last three years working in media and education here and abroad, but not in teaching. If I were to return to teach in September this year, would I qualify for the pound;4,000 bonus for completing an induction year? Do I need to retrain before returning to teaching?

You don't say what subject your PGCE is in, but as far as I know the golden hello is only an option for those who did maths, science, modern languages, ICT, DT or English (including drama) PGCEs from 2000 to 2001. To check, call the DfES on 020 7925 5720. You won't have to retrain; once you've got qualified teacher status, it can't be taken away. But you'll be rusty. A lot has changed since 1999, not least the key stage 3 strategy. You'll need to do self-study (the DfES website - - will point you in the right direction) to convince headteachers that you're knowledgeable enough. More important is how you're going to persuade employers that you're committed to teaching when you have chosen not to work in a school since qualifying.

I am in the middle of a primary PGCE and would love to teach abroad, maybe in Dubai. Is it possible to do the NQT year outside the UK? How long do I have to complete it after graduating?

No matter how good the support is for new teachers or how British the school, you'll have to do induction in England when you return. There isn't any time limit between getting your teaching qualification and starting your induction year in England. You have to start teaching within seven months of getting QTS to get your student loans repaid. Since you can fail induction - which means you aren't allowed to teach in a state school in England - it makes sense to do it in your first year of teaching when everything is fresh and in the context that you trained for. Going abroad is going to make a complex job harder and you won't get the reduced timetable, support, monitoring and assessment that's statutory in England.

You also need to question whether you should teach abroad when your country has invested in training you, paid you pound;6,000, and needs you desperately. Dubai may seem glamorous, but postings on the Teaching Overseas section of The TES staffroom website tell a different story.

Are you a student or NQT? Email your questions to 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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