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Thinking of returning to teaching

Discussion in 'Thinking of teaching' started by alexander_d_murphy_82, Jan 16, 2016.

  1. alexander_d_murphy_82

    alexander_d_murphy_82 New commenter

    I'm a junior NCO and intelligence analyst in the British Army (basically a junior level manager) with 8 years experience and 4 years teaching experience. Before I joined the army I was a secondary science teacher and really enjoyed it before I left but I'd always wanted to join the army so ended up doing it, best decision I've made.

    In the last 3 years I've got married and had two kids. Over my short career I've been to Afghanistan 3 times (spent nearly 18 months of my life there) and the US for 5 months and so want a more stable family life now.

    I'm getting paid about £35k which is amazing and have been offered promotion to a senior level but the army life is not compatible with family life, the constant threat of having to go away has taken it's toll. I am however apprehensive at returning to teaching. Firstly the massive pay cut I'd take and secondly if I'd be able to cope after 8 years out of the profession.

    My plan is to return to teaching in 3 years time (September 2019) as I get a good pension and resettlement package at my 12 year point. This gives me some planning time....is there anything I can do over the next 3 years to give me the best chance of getting back into teaching without being overwhelmed? Can I be doing any courses? Would I even stand a chance at applying for a second in department role?

    Any advice would be grateful.

    Many thanks!
  2. Findlotte

    Findlotte Established commenter

    I'm assuming you have a QTS? You have (I think) 5 years from when you obtained it to complete your NQT year before it expires.

    A lot can happen in 8 years within education, Science is currently a shortage subject, so I'd be surprised if you struggled to find a role. You could ease yourself in by joining a supply agency and choosing the amount of days you work and reminding yourself of the school environment.
    It wouldn't hurt to apply to SLT roles or perhaps attend open evenings/contact SLT to ask, the worst they can say is no.
  3. alexander_d_murphy_82

    alexander_d_murphy_82 New commenter

    Hi, thank you for your reply to this thread.

    Yes, I have QTS, qualified 2005. I taught in two schools in Manchester, then moved to Nottingham and did some long term supply before I joined up.

    How would I apply to an SLT role? I'm guessing that's school specific? Only reason I ask is I move around a fair amount and am due to move again soon.
  4. Findlotte

    Findlotte Established commenter

    Wait for a vacancy to come up. The next recruitment time will be Easter.
    Some SLT still teach.
  5. alexander_d_murphy_82

    alexander_d_murphy_82 New commenter

    Thanks for your comments Quitoon.

    I'm not sure applying for a SLT position will guarantee me a job due to the fact I've been out of teaching for 8+ years. However, I will definately try when the time comes. I've grown substantially since leaving teaching thanks to experience gained within my current role and over the last 8 years.
  6. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    The OP has no chance of gaining an SLT post in a state school (I can't speak for independents, but I'd bet against that, too), because he's been out of schools for too long.
  7. alexander_d_murphy_82

    alexander_d_murphy_82 New commenter

    I thought as much Middlemarch.

    Is there anything else I can be doing in the meantime?

    I am looking at getting involved in one of the physics subject specialism training courses run through the NCTL.

    I don't plan to start applying for jobs until Sep 2018 so I have some time. Forward planning I know but I have a young family to support!
  8. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Hullo there @alexander_d_murphy_82 .

    You have QTS, you tell us. Did you also complete your NQT induction year?

    I got QTS ages ago, but have never done my induction year. Can I still apply for jobs as a NQT?


    While these courses are not designed principally for returners, you could contact the DfE to enquire if this could be done.

    Well, let's think about this.

    Let's suppose that I was enrolled in the Army, couple of years as a private, then did another 2 years in the TA. I then did 12 years as a teacher. Could I then expect to go back into the Army and straight into a NCO position?

    Or perhaps straight to Major or Lieutenant-Colonel? ;)

    The answer is, of course, that you couldn't.

    It may be difficult to get back into teaching with such a large gap anyway. Back into teaching as a foot soldier, I mean. You would not get back as a Senior Leader - nor even as a Middle Leader.


    But someone needs to tell you the bare truth here.

    Best wishes

    DYNAMO67 and wanet like this.
  9. p-lowe

    p-lowe New commenter

    Without being completely negative I'd say get a 'refreshed taste' of teaching first. I don't think it was the same job then as it is now.
  10. DYNAMO67

    DYNAMO67 Lead commenter

    In all fairness @Quitoon this is a perfect example of someone talking about something they know nothing about. You mean well, but as someone who has just been accepted onto a pgce your advice is baseless and widely off the mark. Don't get me wrong, I am not saying the only people who deserve opinions are the likes of @Middlemarch or @TheoGriff but be careful. Reality is that the op is prehistoric in teaching terms. You can't surely think he has a chance of SLT?

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