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Career change-Five year plan. Realistic or not?

(6 Posts)
ithoughtthiswasoriginal Wed 21-Sep-11 11:27:55

Regular with name change.

I have 4 DC, eldest gone to uni, youngest started school FT. I have been musing my options for the last year about what direction to take career wise. My long term goal is to work within education to improve outcomes for children with SEN/SPLD. I don't wish to be teacher so have been considering retraining as an Ed Psyc as this seems to be the only way to work in SEN without being a teacher first. I also need to do some sort of PT job for financial reasons alongside training.

Training from scratch will take 5/7 years and I currently have no experience of working in schools but I do have a fair amount of personal SEN knowledge. My plan is as follows, any advice or pointing out of pitfalls would be appreciated.

-Volunteer at DC's school to gain experience
-Look for PT paid TA Job/undertake TA qualification
-Study for DL/OU Psychology degree (whilst doing above)
-Apply for further training in EP
- Qualify, find job (will be between 40-42 yrs old by then with mostly grown up DC).

This is the first time in my life I have developed a long term plan for something career wise. I want to do it because I realise that I need to sensibly work towards a goal. Also DH is a fair bit older than me and I am starting to see a point where I may need to be the main breadwinner for a while.

The thought of working towards one thing for that many years does unnerve me. Not sure why other than the cost of it though.

reallytired Wed 21-Sep-11 11:34:11

I would have thought it would be difficult to be a good ed psyc without being a teacher. It is hard to advise on strageries for behaviour management when you have never had to plan lessons or control a classroom.

There are other careers which would allow you to work with SEN/ SPLD children. For example speech and language theraphist, OT or child physio.

ithoughtthiswasoriginal Wed 21-Sep-11 14:50:12

Thanks for the advice reallytired. Maybe I should reconsider a PGCE but I didn't want to become a teacher as a stepping stone to something else.

I was under the impression that a lot of psychology graduates took this route without being teachers. I will look into the other professions you mention though.

BranchingOut Wed 21-Sep-11 16:29:32

There is an Ed Psych. forum on the TES boards.

It used to be that you had to teach prior to Ed Psych. training and then it was changed for some reason. So you don't have to teach first.

However, I have to say, as a teacher, I would be a bit hmm if an Ed Psych. was giving suggestions for strategies in such a way that showed they were not very informed about what went on in the classroom.

ithoughtthiswasoriginal Wed 21-Sep-11 20:54:11

If they have changed the entrance criteria then surely the training/placement period should reflect this to ensure that there aren't significant gaps in knowledge.

I would be a bit confused if I had been allowed to and spent a number of years training to then have people feeling I wasn't qualified. Is there a culture within education that looks down on Ed Psychs that have not been teachers first?

I ask this because I previously have worked for SS and I found there to be a similar attitude to employees who may not have arrived there through the conventional social work route, which was a massive shame because often those people were very good at what they did.

BranchingOut Wed 21-Sep-11 23:37:19

I obviously hope that the training period would ensure that there aren't significant gaps in knowledge, as you suggest. I don't know whether or not the training/placements include significant time in the classroom, but I would hope that it does. smile

I am trying to recall when the changes came in, but it wasn't all that long ago so maybe not many cohorts of the new-style trainees have come through yet.

Be aware that there is a bit of insecurity in the field, as Local Authorities are being encouraged to axe this kind of service so that it can be purchased by schools 'directly' and with all the wonderful advantages of the free market. hmm

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