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Primary school teachers, advise me!

(17 Posts)
ChirpyGirl Thu 24-Jul-08 20:43:38

I have decided that when I go back to work it is going to be something I actually want to do, as opposed to what I have fallen into doing, so am wanting to become a primary school teacher.
Learn direct were most unhelpful but can anyone run me through what I need to do to get qualified?
I have a degree (third) in Maths and Spanish and would like to study part time or at home if poss as I can't afford childcare.

Also do you get the grant that secondary school teachers get for training?

hercules1 Thu 24-Jul-08 20:44:31

OU is the place you want to go to.

ChirpyGirl Thu 24-Jul-08 20:51:09

Is it a PGCE that I want, when I search it seems that that is for secondary school stuff.

(Am not normally this thick, but am sleep deprived...honest)

ChirpyGirl Thu 24-Jul-08 20:53:13

Bugger, it says this
Please note that the OU does not currently offer a training course for teaching in primary schools.

RiverSong Thu 24-Jul-08 20:59:24

PGCE is for both primary and secondary.
There is also a thing called the Graduate Teaching Programme, which allows you to work in a school & get paid while you train. We had an TA at the school I work at who started doing it,& she is now a qualified teacher at the school. It can be quite hard to find a placement, but it does mean you still have an income while training.

nell12 Thu 24-Jul-08 20:59:55

There are lots of different ways of getting a PGCE:
As a PGCE course at a university
A SCITT (school-centred-initial-teacher-training) course which is generally run on behalf of a council via a uni. You spend 50% of your time in school and 50% in Uni/teacher centre and you get the school holidays off!
A GTP (Graduate Teacher Programme) where you do everything in school, no uni time, but the course can be a little longer.

Google "Initial Teacher Training" and some useful info may come up

palaver Thu 24-Jul-08 20:59:57

have you seen the graduate teacher scheme?

palaver Thu 24-Jul-08 21:00:45

x post - others have beaten me to it smile

nell12 Thu 24-Jul-08 21:01:20

try here

ChirpyGirl Thu 24-Jul-08 21:12:12

THat's all great, thanks!

manyhands Fri 25-Jul-08 13:05:22

I'm doing my primary PGCE by distance learning (apart from school placements) at Liverpool Hope. Lots opf other uni's offer distance learning courses.

gingernutlover Sun 27-Jul-08 15:47:32


well worth looking at the tes staffroom, which is like mumsenet tal;k but for teachers

there is a special area for trainees and lots of advice and ideas.

good luck and just to warn you as your children look quite young, you will have to do what are called "block placements" or "teaching practice" placements on any teacher training course which means you have to be in school full days (ie 8-5) for weeks at a time - I cant remember the actaul time - but there is a minimum for you to qualify. Ifyou are on a graduate teacher programme or on a PGCE then you should get a grant or get pay which would help you pay for childcare but there is no way you can do the entire course from home or in evenings/weekends sad

hope you find the course that is right for you, I strated teaching 6 years a go and now work 3 days a week and spend 2 days with my dd aged 3. I wouldnt want to do anything else, its a fantasic job and so rewarding

ChirpyGirl Mon 28-Jul-08 20:58:08

Thanks for that, I am looking into it know but hoping not to start anything until next year after DD1 is in school so childcare would be a bit less, just wanted to see how easy/hard it would be really.

great info to read up on though!

ReallyTired Tue 29-Jul-08 15:36:35

Some PGCE providers can be snotty about third class degrees. This is really unfair as a degree in Maths and Spanish is way more academic than some degress (like education.) I only got a 2.2 in Physics, but I found the academic part of a PGCE really easy. The problem for me was the work load and wanting to see my three year old grow up.

If I was you I would get a job as an LSA in a school. I think that typical route for many people getting LSA work is to help out in your children's school or to get a job as a midday supervisor and then you have a massive advantage when you do apply for LSA jobs.

The learning curve is massive learning to be a teacher. A bit of practical experience gained before hand would help you with discipline. You would also know what its like to work in a school and whether you like it.

Before applying for your course I suggest that you observe secondary and possibly a special school if you are lucky. You can then answer the question. "Why primary?"

I started a PGCE, but I found I hated teaching. I had no help with childcare. Your family has to be pretty much living on the breadline or you have to be a single parent to get any useful help.

ChirpyGirl Wed 30-Jul-08 20:08:43

Thanks for that, I find most people are a bit off about my third, but I was lucky to get anything tbh!
I have been talking with DH and it is most likely going to wait until at least DD1 is in full time school so I might be able ot help out in teh school or something then.

Lots to think about though, thanks

Thatsnotmyfairy Wed 30-Jul-08 22:38:11

Hi there

I did a PGCE 3 years ago. Not sure where you are, but where I did my course (London South Bank) you could do a PGCE part time over 2 years rather than 1 which spread the workload out a bit. The trouble is that you will still have to do one 3 week placement and two 6 week placements where you're at school every day from the crack of dawn until you're kicked out and then carry on working when you get home. I would say that outside these times the workload is probably manageable if you have a child (can't say for sure, I didn't have mine until afterwards!) but during a placement it would be much more difficult.

At the time I trained, you got your course fees paid and a £6,000 grant for the year which for one reason or another was paid to me £3,000 at the start and £3,000 at the end although I'm sure some people got £6,000 upfront. You can also apply for a student load, again you'll need to check how much that's worth these days, mine was about £5,500.

Good luck, it is well worth it if it's something you really want to do.

This is the link to the South Bank flexible course prospectus

ReallyTired Wed 30-Jul-08 22:56:27


If you get a bit of experience in a school doing almost anything then it would help you if you apply for GTP.

I found the university part of a the PGCE not too bad. The problem for me was the sheer workload of the final placement. The uni I was at had the option of doing the course part time, but the final placement had to be done full time.

I was spending at least two hours preparing a one hour lesson and I was expected to teach 17 hours a week. On top of this I had essays as well. I was going to bed at 2 in the morning and getting up at 6.30am in the morning to leave the house at 7am.

The course provider seemed to think that just because I had a car I could drive to the moon and back. There was no consideration of the fact that I had a three year old boy who needed his mummy.

I gave up the PGCE because of the workload. I felt that my son was getting negleted and wanted my marriage to survive. I was also making myself ill with over work. The course provider offered me the option to defer for two years, (they are desperate for physics teachers) however I chosen something else.

I do ICT support in a school instead. I have the same holidays as teachers. The money is awful, but I only work 37 hours a week.

I am sorry if I have come across negative. Teaching can be one of the most exhilerating jobs in the world.

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