Ways into teaching part-time?

(73 Posts)
plainjayne123 Thu 14-Mar-13 10:43:19

I would like to career change and become a primary teacher, but part-time for the next few years at least. I have been told School direct/SCITT are only full time and I have rang some School direct schools and they won't consider this. OU and my local universities don't do part-time PGCEs. What else could I try anyone? I think I am an ideal cadidate - 1st from a great university, PhD, experience of working outside education, and very committed to starting teaching career.

reastie Thu 14-Mar-13 10:48:50

I've only ever heard of teacher training full time, sorry (although that's not to say it's not possible to do it PT). Once you do the training year though I imagine it would be relatively easy to get PT work. I did my NQT year spread over a couple of years as I was PT and there was no issue with that, but I had to do training in one year. Is there any way you could spend that year FT?

mnistooaddictive Thu 14-Mar-13 11:03:10

I am going to be blunt, please don't take it the wrong way!
We currently have far too many primary teachers and it is really difficult to get a job unless you are happy to work in central London.
"1st from a great university, PhD, experience of working outside education" means absolutely nothing in teaching. What matters is being able to explain difficult concepts in a way that children can relate to. People who have struggled at school themselves are often better at this than those who have always achieved academic success. MY SIL is an absolutely amazing primary teacher, one of the very best, but she is not academic. I think you need to think really carefully about why you want to teach and what you have to offer a school. Experience of working outside education isn't necessarily a bonus. I have worked with too may student teachers who had senior jobs before teacher training and still acted like they were in charge when they were very much the bottom of the pecking order.
What subject are your degree and PhD? You may be better off in secondary where academic rigour is more important and depending on your subject, MUCH easier to get a job.
If ypou feel I have been harsh then sorry but believe me, you have to REALLY want to teach to get through teacher training and NQT year.

CremeEggThief Thu 14-Mar-13 11:10:20

I agree with mn, OP. That said, I did my PGCE part-time at Bath Spa University over two years. Did my NQT year full-time, after taking 18 months to get a job, and have been looking for part-time teaching posts for two years since then, with no luck.

plainjayne123 Thu 14-Mar-13 11:15:33

Thanks for your replies, I appreciate your bluntness. I agree with what you say but I don't think being academic means you can't be a good primary teacher. I am also considering secondary as it's easier to train and teach PT, but wanted to see if primary is also an option. My subject is chemistry.

reastie Thu 14-Mar-13 11:16:18

MN speaks alot of sense. My take on it is slightly different as I'm a secondary teacher. RL experience in the industry of my subject is a very big positive for me in my subject and my specialism means there aren't a huge amount of people in this subject to compete for jobs (although jobs in my area come up infrequently where I live), it's possibly not as important for a primary teacher (apologies if that's a generalisation and not the case)

reastie Thu 14-Mar-13 11:17:36

OP if you have any questions about teacher training through the GTP route let me know as I did this about 6 years ago. My subject is Food Technology FWIW.

Acinonyx Thu 14-Mar-13 11:32:25

The OU do do part-time PGCEs but the actual teaching practice weeks are full-time.

plainjayne123 Thu 14-Mar-13 11:37:37

OU only do secondary

noblegiraffe Thu 14-Mar-13 11:45:02

If you do go for secondary, be aware that part time doesn't necessarily mean you'll get full days off. I'm secondary maths and am contracted for 3 days equivalent but due to the timetable I'm actually in school and teaching all 5 days, I just get chunks of time off here and there. In primary they tend to do job shares.

You say you're an ideal candidate but haven't listed any experience working with children? Primary training courses are highly competitive so you need to get into schools now and get some experience.

The TES forums are excellent for advice and have a prospective student teacher forum which would probably be helpful to you.

steppemum Thu 14-Mar-13 12:02:59

a friend of mine is currently doing a part time PGCE, it is one day per week, but it is for teaching 16 plus. Lots of those doing it are actually teaching at the college who run it, and it is assumed she is teaching in some way as she has to teach certain number of hours for each section of the course.

PinkCanary Thu 14-Mar-13 12:42:09

I've got an interview next month for a part time flexible Primary PGCE. Its through Edge Hill (nr Liverpool) which is about 40 miles away and very well renowned for its teacher training. The commitment is 8 days in house (though have been told some are Saturdays) with most assignments done via distance learning. It can be completed between 2 - 6 terms depending on personal experiences and situation. I currently work as a TA so already have substantial in school experience but am aware there will need to be flexibility on my employers part while I undertake my placement obligations. Quitting my job to do a full time PGCE is not an option thanks to bills and Childcare constraints so really hope I get accepted.

tiggytape Thu 14-Mar-13 13:07:27

The only part time teachers I know are fulltime teachers who went part time / negotiated a job share after maternity leave. To be honest, even part time teachers aren't truly part time. Many choose to do a 3 day week because in reality that will give them their weekends free (3 days at school, 2 days planning and marking and paperwork at home whereas working 5 days means 1 day of the weekend lost working at home).

I know a couple of people who completed part time PGCEs but only for financial reasons (working whilst studying). Again the part time aspect only really applies to the amount of time spent at uni.
When you are sent on placements, those will be fulltime placements (there are 3 placements of upto 9 weeks each as part of the part time PGCE locally). Then there is still the work to be completed in your own time - essays for the course plus planning and marking and assessments relating to each placement.

Teaching part time has to be one of the least part time jobs available simply because so much of the work is done in your 'own' time, cannot be delegated, cannot be scheduled for slower periods, cannot be spread out and has to be done on time and of course their is a very real obligation to make sure you don't fall behind and give it your full attention.

lainiekazan Fri 15-Mar-13 09:45:58

From the angle of a former school governor, I know the Head was inundated almost constantly with requests for part-time work. The part-time jobs went either to a very valued member of staff who had served their time, or to an experienced teacher. Trying to coordinate lots of part-timers (moderating their work, getting them up to speed on the children etc etc) was rather a nightmare and the chance of a NQT getting a part-time job I would say was practically nil, I'm afraid.

WonderingPast Fri 15-Mar-13 13:54:28

I looked into training in secondary teaching, and discovered what people above are saying: you can study - for example with the OU - part time, which will mean some placements need to be done full-time, but the study and some placements can be part time. Secondary science is less competitive for jobs, so there is a greater chance of getting PT work, though you will need somehow to make sure you get your NQT year completed in time, which might mean taking a FT job. Secondary maths is also less competitive (there is a dearth of qualified maths teachers in some areas), and - when I last looked - you didn't need a maths degree to train, just A-level plus a top-up course.

I have seen a number of mature people retrain into primary and secondary teaching. ALL the primary trainees have been FT for the PGCE and NQT (or equivalent), then some managed to remain on 80%.

I would echo that in-school experience (plus, if possible, other experience with children of the age you intend to teach) is essential, not just to get onto the competitive course, but also to reassure you that teaching - and that age group and subject - is a good choice for you. I did the "student associates scheme" (which I think no longer runs) and it showed me that the training, even PT with the OU, would not fit with my own family commitments.

teacherwith2kids Fri 15-Mar-13 19:35:07

I trained part-time a few years ago (and tbh my qualifications and previous field of expertise are almost identical to yours - 1st class Biochemistry degree, PhD, successful previous career).

I was lucky enough to live within 30 miles of a university offering a 'flexible PGCE' - basically a 2 year 'construct it yourself' PGCE, where every course has to be taken but when you do it is flexible within some constraints. I did all but my last placement part time as well.

However, I recently heard that the flexible course has closed. With the over-supply of primary teachers, there is no need for 'unconventional prospective teacher friendly' courses of this type in orderr to atract recruits. It's a shame, as I think some of the best teachers are those who have experience elsewhere and may be older and have 'other lives'.

I did get a part-time job as an NQT (as the 'other' part of a jobshare with soemone returning from maternity leave), but again, I would not like to imply that this is commonplace or easy to acquire. I now work full-time.

teacherwith2kids Fri 15-Mar-13 19:43:05

(Sorry, should have clarified - I trained to teach primary)

Acinonyx Fri 15-Mar-13 19:57:18

I'm spookily close to op and teacherwith2kids (down to the Biochem & Phd) and also looking into teaching part-time - but secondary. Looking into the OU course. I am concerned about the likelihood of remaining part-time.

As it happens, one of my daughter's teachers is part-time NQT primary and there are several PT staff at the school. No idea how common or rare that is - just commenting.

plainjayne123 Fri 15-Mar-13 20:20:05

My options at the moment are PT PGCE with OU (secondary) or at Winchester University (primary). I understand that the school placements need to be FT and I think we would be ok with that. I have 2 children at FT school and one will start FT school in 2015. I would be happy to work at home during the days that I am not working, and my idea is that a PT job would allow me to have enough time with children. Getting a PT NQT and job I know will be difficult but I think if there are PT jobs I will have a good chance of getting them and they are occasionally advertised. I am 40 and I want to start something that I want to be going when I am 65, I can see myself in a primary then much more than a secondary and the primaries I have been to seem to have a great working atmosphere.

Acinonyx Fri 15-Mar-13 20:39:42

I'm older still! Not drawn at all to primary - only secondary. I am very keen to remain part-time. It's like every other career move in the end - you have to commit to it and do the best you can. I will make a final decision after my work experience placement in April.

Roseformeplease Fri 15-Mar-13 20:51:05

I am sorry to be negative but, as a teacher who chose this job when I was 21, I get a bit fed up of the army of Mums with children starting school who suddenly want to take up teaching. Don't get me wrong, some late starters are doing it for all the right reasons. Too many, however, are not. No one suddenly decides to be a Doctor, Dentist or Lawyer in their 40s and expects it to be possible. But teaching...hey, that's easy. Degree? Couple of children? No problem. Part time to suit the family?

Honestly, it is a wonderful, challenging, career, not a lifestyle choice.

Sorry OP, no doubt you are going to tell me different. Get lots and lots of experience first and then courses might look at you but Head Teachers will see you coming from a mile away and believe, as I outlined above, that you are in it for the wrong reasons.

letseatgrandma Fri 15-Mar-13 21:05:54

Getting a PT NQT and job I know will be difficult but I think if there are PT jobs I will have a good chance of getting them

I don't mean to be rude, but what makes you think you have a good chance of getting them? Have you spoken to any heads?

I did my PGCE at 21 and taught full time for several years before having children and requesting a part time role. I now work 2 days a week in a Y1/2 jobshare and love it. I have been at my current school for fourteen years and the head has never taken on a part time teacher that hadn't already worked full time at the school. Heads may take you as part time if you have an excellent proven track record and lots of experience, but I feel it's rather unlikely as a newly qualified teacher.

plainjayne123 Fri 15-Mar-13 21:05:55

I didn't say it would be easy. There are surely a lot of great teachers in the army of mums whose children have started school and they want a career change that fits in with having children. Teacher training takes 1 yr FT whereas training to be a doctor would take 5 so not really similar. There is nothing more important to me than my children's education and I understand the role a teacher plays on children's futures. I am not sure a NQT in their early 20s has the life experience to understand this.

letseatgrandma Fri 15-Mar-13 21:09:07

I understand the role a teacher plays on children's futures. I am not sure a NQT in their early 20s has the life experience to understand this.

Often, teachers in their 20s are wonderfully enthusiastic and can be truly inspirational for the children. Please don't assume that you will automatically be better than a 21 year old just because you've been around the block! The drop-out rate on my PGCE was far higher amongst the mature students!

Lampfamm Fri 15-Mar-13 21:11:43

OP, please don't get disheartened by posters like roseformeplease. I am a teacher and it isn't a special club. Your reasons for wanting to teach are probably as good as anyone else's. Every student is different and it is essential that teaching staff are as varied and diverse as possible. Your background is important and I think most HT's would value your experience, however it was gained.
Good Luck, and I know that an NQT year can be completed over more than one year, if you needed to work part-time whilst getting it.

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