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Has anyone retrained as a primary teacher, preferably in Wales (but experience from England would be helpful also)?

(11 Posts)
gaelicsheep Mon 18-Mar-13 23:20:13

Bizarrely after much anguish over where my career is taking me I suddenly realised last night that I could turn my interest in education into a career change. My current job involves teaching adults quite a lot, and I really enjoy this, although I know that children are a totally different kettle of fish!

I have just started to look into options, but I am already quite confused by the different routes/course/application methods in England and Wales. Some websites that purport to apply to both only seem to talk about England. I do realise this lack of comprehension ability does not bode well (!) but I would be really really glad to hear from anyone who has done this. It would only be possible for me to do this via a employment based route.

I have a degree in a subject not unrelated to the national curriculum (can't say or I'll probably out myself what with recent threads I've been on). I also have particular skills/experience I can offer in two or three other key subjects.

I guess I have three particular questions:

1) Is this even doable financially if you are the main earner? Training salaries are around £15k I think? The websites I've looked at seem to suggest there is a sliding scale but with no explanation of how that is applied.
2) What are the best ways to get prior experience? I work full time but I'm thinking I could perhaps volunteer at the school breakfast club - would that be worthwhile do you reckon?
3) Is there any point? Is there a real likelihood of jobs at the end of it? And does an NQT always start at the very bottom of the scale, even with 15+ years of experience elsewhere?

If you have seen previous threads of mine about education/living in Wales please try to resist any snide remarks - I really can't be bothered to name change to avoid them. Let's just say things have moved on substantially in the past few days. TIA!

gaelicsheep Mon 18-Mar-13 23:25:58

I realise no one can possibly answer question (1)!

gaelicsheep Tue 19-Mar-13 07:15:29


gaelicsheep Tue 19-Mar-13 12:54:38

bumping again

gaelicsheep Tue 19-Mar-13 21:36:41

last bump sad and then I will go off and find an education forum (which I probably should do anyway) smile

TwllBach Tue 19-Mar-13 21:46:48

I did my training in Wales and now work here, but I'm very north Wales so I've had the language barrier to deal with (not a snide remark, but a very real hurdle fucking massive stone wall in my career) but if I remember it's not such a big deal where you are?

We were talking about this in the staff room today actually. The GTP does pay about what you seem to think (or so I'm told) but as far as I'm aware you have to ask the school yourself, so you might not to do a deal of time in a specific school so they get to know you and are happy to do it with you.

You said you worked full time... Could you finish early once a week to put on an after school club, if you have a specific skill?

I'm just an NQT but it's a lovely job. Desperately hard work a lot of the time but it's worth it for the child that comes up to you and tells you that they went home to tell their parents they can now spell their name because of you. Good luck OP!

gaelicsheep Tue 19-Mar-13 21:58:12

Hooray! Thank you so much for answering me and not saying it's a ridiculous idea! I'm not sure I'd be brave enough yet to put on a club myself, but certainly there is the breakfast club and the after school club that I could try to volunteer for in the first instance and then take it from there.

TwllBach Tue 19-Mar-13 22:31:23

Is it a long term plan? I would say that you will need a lot of experience - gaining a place on any teacher training course at the moment is very competitive, so you might need to prove that you are worth it more so than perhaps I did IYSWIM. In the meantime, obviously, read up as much as you can. We've just had a meetin about the national literacy and numeracy framework which is set to be rolled out in 2013/14 for example.

I'm rapidly learning that teaching is a much about the paperwork as the children unfortunately, so if you can go in to your interview well prepared and able to drop frameworks and legislation ad the like into your answers, all the better!

gaelicsheep Tue 19-Mar-13 22:37:12

Yes it's a long term plan, well maybe in a couple of years time anyway. They do seem to be trying to attract people into teaching who have been employed in other sectors, so I do find it a little puzzling how you can get loads and loads of experience in a school while holding down a full time job... I wonder how anyone does it really, just in practical terms.

BackforGood Tue 19-Mar-13 22:59:25

I think experience working with children / planning activities / dealing with challenging behaviour / etc. in another capacity is something that might be more realistic to look at in terms of volunteering if you are at work FT.... Brownies / Cubs / Sports or Dance coaching / etc? It will give you examples of 'how did you deal with....' to talk about at interviews, but also might make you realise that either you don't like children as much as you thought(!) or it really could be something you love, once the novelty has worn off over several months, and you've still got to go in when you are tired, or it's dark and sleeting, or a parent has had a go at you, etc.
Could you arrange to do some shadowing in a school on a couple of annual leave days ?

gaelicsheep Tue 19-Mar-13 23:06:28

Hi BackToGood - yes I think you're right and that's a great idea that I must look into. And yes, absolutely I'd be quite happy to use some annual leave to get some experience or work shadowing in a school.

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