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Your move: LEA Adviser

Get thinking about your future career

All local education authorities employ advisers to promote continuous improvement, disseminate good practice and raise educational standards.

Salaries range from pound;35,000 to pound;50,000, though some advisory services have been semi-privatised, so schools buy in advisory support. As well as teaching expertise you might need sales and financial know-how. Many advisers will also tender for inspection work with the Office for Standards in Education.

Advisers offer LEA-wide support - in the classroom or in professional development centres. You need to be up to date with the latest thinking as you might be asked to lead, say, a new training scheme. In that case, you will need to convince sceptical staff that the schemeis worth the effort.

Many LEAs offer teachers secondments for two or three years, often to work on a particular project before either returning to the classroom or continuing with more advisory or consultancy work. Advisers work with school managers, offer a disinterested professional ear and help schools to bring about important changes.

Such changes are often sought in trying circumstances. You might have to write an action plan following a failed inspection. You might face denial, blame, distress, even job losses. You must be a persuader, a good listener, a motivator, and have a rigorous knowledge of how organisations work.

To get a foothold in this work, focus on developing expertise in your field and get involved in local initiatives and training. A postgraduate qualification will also help. The Open University is excellent, cheap and readily accessible.

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