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All statutory guidance and legislation published on this site continues to reflect the current legal position unless indicated otherwise.

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Popular questions about returning to teaching

Find the answers to the common concerns and questions raised by returning teachers.

Return to teaching questions

Return to teaching answers

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Will I receive a golden hello when I return to teaching?

The golden hello incentive is not available to returning teachers, however you will be able to benefit from a number of opportunities for career progression and development. Schools will take into account your previous skills, qualifications and experience in and outside of teaching.

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I took a break from teaching, but I would now like to return. Do I need to retrain, and is an RTT course mandatory?

You must have qualified teacher status (QTS) to teach in a state-maintained school. Do you have QTS and hold a Department for Education (DfE, formerly DCSF/DfES/DfEE) number? If so, your qualification should be valid. If you are not sure, contact the General Teaching Council for England on 0370 001 0308 (or 029 2055 0350 in Wales). RTT courses are not mandatory. But if you have been out of teaching for more than a year, you can refresh your skills and confidence on one of these courses. Alternatively, you can also [update your skills independently and arrange a supported school placement with a local school, or with the help of your local authority.

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I qualified a while ago but haven't done my induction. Do I need to, and will I still be able to enroll on an RTT course?

If you qualified with QTS before May 1999, you will not need to complete induction on your return. If you qualified after May 1999, you will need to complete induction if you have not already done so.

You may need to contact the induction team at the TDA on 0300 065 6526 to discuss your position.

You may attend an RTT course before you complete your induction. Although you can start your induction at any point, once you have started you should finish it within five years.

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Am I too old to return to teaching?

No. There is no age limit for returning teachers, and many headteachers value the life experience that older members of staff bring.

Legislation that came into force in October 2006 bans age discrimination in employment. Nobody can be turned down on the grounds of age alone.

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Has pedagogy altered?

Depending on when you left teaching, there may have been a number of developments in pedagogical strategies.

However, as many returning teachers will testify, good teaching is still good teaching. Lots of returning teachers feel that, once they have revisited the classroom, the changes that they have read about are really not so daunting.

These articles from the Standards Site should help you refresh your thinking on teaching styles: