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Your move: Education Journalist

Sometimes you'll wonder where your career is going and what you can do to change it. You may even long to join the opinion-making movers and shakers.

That may not be possible, but you could become an education journalist - if you are a good communicator and can work under pressure to meet deadlines.

This may not mean a wholesale change in your life as this is one career you can do alongside teaching. Education is now at the top of the political agenda. As well as newspapers, there is broadcast journalism and Teachers'

TV.

To get started, browse education journals and newspapers. The TES alone has numerous supplements, including this one, First Appointments and Special Needs Extra. Practitioners also write articles in the broadsheets, and there are numerous specialist magazines.

Or you might consider sub-editing - they are the people who work behind the scenes. You need to be able to use words, write headlines, research pictures and create layouts to attract readers. You need to know what the house style is. For example, the education correspondent of the Sun will write in a different way compared to the Guardian. Needless to say, you need perfect spelling, grammar and punctuation. You also have to turn the worthy but boring words of someone else into more readable copy, check facts and watch out for libel.

Alternatively, you might want to do freelance work. You are the one who is up-to-date with education. What initiatives or developments have you been involved in? Have you got a slant on some new policy, or practical tips for NQTs? Try writing something in no more than 600 words and find out the name of the commissioning editor to send it to. And keep trying.

Useful websiteswww.teachers.tv.www.tes.co.uk

Andy Stanley

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