I mentioned above that the postiton i'd been arranging in Shenyang looked to have fallen through as I didn't hear back from the FAO after asking him how my situation looked in regards to aquiring a FE certificate and Resident Permit. I was contacted again last week and after apologising for the lack of correspondance, he explained that he'd been away for the holiday period and just arrived back in Shenyang. (Why he didn't tell me he'd be out of reach before then I don't know).
Get used to this. It is very common for coworkers and supervisors NOT to tell you when they are going away on business or vacation. As a foreign teacher you will always be the last to know. Sometimes you will have to ask your students in order to get the answers your supervisors should have given you, or to receive advance notice on anything. It is part and parcel for life as a foreign teacher in China.
I am glad to hear that the holiday was the reason they didn't get back to you, as many of us had predicted. So, all hope is not lost.
He said that due to the relationship the school has with the visa office, there shouldn't be a problem, and in applying for the residents permit and letter of invitation, my file has passed the first process, and may take another two weeks.
That is not unusual. Going by the information you have provided in your posts, nothing too out of the ordinary appears to be happening between you and your future employer.
Hopefully this means that things are finally moving along, but I still have my doubts.
Something that always applies to China related issues: prepare for the worst but hope for the best.