Advanced search

Teacher subject cross over - Allowed?

(34 Posts)
grants1000 Sun 23-Mar-14 11:40:08

Are teachers qualified allowed to teach different subjects?

Can a PE teacher teach a task based lesson?

I thought you trained as a maths, history, science teacher etc and then taught that subjects. I could be wrong but I am new to secondary school as DS1 in Y7 and just wanted to ask.


TheFallenMadonna Sun 23-Mar-14 11:45:28

You train with a first and second subject. Most people teach their specialism, but sometimes there is cross over when there are staffing/recruitment issues. I teach a subject I didn't train in, but I did do a degree in it during a career break.

manfirstual Sun 23-Mar-14 11:48:49

You can theoretically teach all sorts of things, it's just that a school would (normally) look for someone with subject knowledge. It is very, very common for a PE teacher to offer a second subject.

chocoshopoholic Sun 23-Mar-14 11:52:33

There are also inservice subject courses for teachers wishing to teach different subjects offered by universities

Floralnomad Sun 23-Mar-14 11:53:14

My DS is starting his teacher training in September ,he is going to be a computer science teacher but he has already agreed with the school he is based at that he will also do English ( apparently non exam years ). He has an A level in English lit ,is very widely read and loves Shakespeare etc so I'm sure he will be fine.

adoptmama Sun 23-Mar-14 12:37:30

It's very common to be dual qualified.

Fruityb Sun 23-Mar-14 12:42:39

Once you have qualified teacher status technically you can teach anything, though you have your main specialism. So I'm a trained English and Drama teacher, but could teach
Media as I've got qualifications in them. I could be asked to teach anything to be fair, but generally they'll go for the ones that can do it before they'd ever come to someone like me.
PE teachers usually have a second subject so that they can keep a toe in the classroom if they don't do GCSE PE. Tends to be science or RE in my experience, but they can have anything as a secondary subject.

EdithWeston Sun 23-Mar-14 12:59:59

I've spotted that a lot of Antipodean teachers do more than one subject (is it to do with how teacher training is done there?)

And we have a number of subject teachers who also do PE (rather than the other way round, IYSWIM)

Whether you are happy with that must depend on whether you trust your school to employ and deploy staff who are of a proper standard. It works OK for us.

LordPalmerston Sun 23-Mar-14 13:00:57

you can teach anything you like

a skilled teacher can, pretty much, not everything though

woodlands01 Sun 23-Mar-14 13:57:43

A secondary school teacher can be directed to teach in any subject.
I am a Maths teacher - I have taught ICT (by choice). I can be directed by my headteacher to teach in any subject, I have no choice. We currently have a PE teacher teaching Maths and an TA teaching Maths and other subjects due to teacher shortage. The only issue may be with health and safety for certain (mainly practical) subjects which is dealt with by giving staff some training.
It is more common nowadays in schools to have teachers teaching in more than one subject. This is due to restrictions in timetables and shortage of money for specialist staff - if you are half a teacher short in Maths then non-specialists who are short on their timetable are utilised rather than employing a full time teacher.

stillenacht Sun 23-Mar-14 14:01:48

I am a music teacher (music degree with French) and have taught German (I have a good A level in German) to key stage 3.

Dh is also a music teacher but has also taught, in the past, geography (he has a GCSE in it!) and History (no qualification in it, stopped it at 13) to key stage 3.

Lots of PE teachers also teach business, ICT, geography.

mummytime Sun 23-Mar-14 14:10:02

When I was training to teach it was clear that the contract was that you would teach any subject at the Head teacher's discretion. I think there was an exception for RE. But I did see History and even Science teachers teaching Graphics, and knew a Chemistry teacher who had taught French (she was Canadian).

SpanielFace Sun 23-Mar-14 14:21:47

My sister is an English teacher, with a 2:1 degree in joint honours English and History, and English, History and French A-Levels. Her school, who (in my opinion) are utter arseholes, are making her teach Maths for 2 sessions a week - a subject she hasn't studied herself since GCSE 20 years previously, and is under-confident in - she has told her line manager how she feels to no avail, she's been told to refuse will be in breach of contract. Apparently, schools can do this, as a teacher is qualified to teach any subject and the school can deploy them as they feel fit! If I were the parent of a child she was teaching, I would not be impressed! Thank god she is leaving her current school at Easter - this was the final straw in a series of disastrous management decisions. Honestly, I wouldn't teach if you paid me £100k a year. (Off topic, I know, but every teacher I know is so stressed and unhappy at the moment!).

mummytime Sun 23-Mar-14 14:26:33

SpanielFace - the worse case I knew was a school which had one maths class which didn't have a regular maths teacher for a whole year. I don't think the parents realised there actually wasn't a teacher timetabled to teach that class.

SpanielFace Sun 23-Mar-14 14:32:08

Mummytime that's shocking. Poor kids.

noblegiraffe Sun 23-Mar-14 14:35:28

You can be told to teach anything, however a good school would only ask for volunteers to teach a subject they felt confident in.

PourquoiTuGachesTaVie Sun 23-Mar-14 14:48:50

When I was in school we had a physics teacher who also taught design technology. I presume he had some sort of engineering background.

We also had a geography teacher who also taught PE, and a couple of history teachers also taught R.E. and also English.

It was great if you liked a teacher but if you didn't like them then having them for more than one subject wasn't such fun. wink

Takver Sun 23-Mar-14 15:20:33

Teaching more than one subject seems pretty common at dd's school - her history teacher also teaches geography, her geog teacher also teaches RE, and she has the same teacher for some Welsh lessons + RE.

Makes sense to me - I studied economics at university, & a lot of my work overlapped with human geographers and historians interested in the labour market / economic development. Ditto mathematicians crossing over with the more mathematical end of physics I guess (and indeed economists giving up and defaulting to maths where there are no awkward real people to mess up their theories), and linguists studying more than one language.

I'd imagine as a teacher it might be more interesting to teach in two subject areas anyway?

crazymum53 Sun 23-Mar-14 16:05:20

Yes if you have done a Secondary PGCE you will have chosen a second subject as a subsidiary so many Science teachers may choose Maths as subsidiary. Most Science graduates (particularly Physics and Chemistry) will have continued to study Maths at university or taken Further Maths at A level so would be able to teach Maths.
Most schools and colleges would allow teachers to teach subjects where they have good A level grades up to GCSE. If they have joint honours degrees they may teach 2 subjects up to A level.
I would not consider myself qualified to teach a subject in which I don't have at least a good GCSE (or equivalent qualification) though and would consider this to be bad practice on the school's part.

Floralnomad Sun 23-Mar-14 16:14:04

At the school where my son will be training most of the sixth form do the IB which is why they need him to pick up some English classes for the lower years as in effect every student does English right through the school .

bulby Sun 23-Mar-14 16:20:42

For most science teachers their second subject is science and our first our specific science. We already teach 3 subjects minimum in most schools as a result many science teachers do not have maths as a subsidary subject.

olivo Sun 23-Mar-14 16:23:02

Very common, and the flexibility is helpful. You cannot train initially in my subject. I trained in MFL, now I teach roughly half that plus two other subjects. My reason was that after 15 years, I fancied a change. I was lucky, my school had faith in me and I was supported with extra training. I love all my subjects.

Runlikeareindeer Sun 23-Mar-14 18:08:57

I'm secondary trained RE, I have no subsidiary subject.

I have however taught ICT, English, history, geography. We can be asked to teach anything.

In the flush old days (pre-Gove and recession) it was more likely to have specialist teachers. But now a school can only afford to employ the bare minimum of teachers. So there is lots of cross over.

meala Sun 23-Mar-14 18:30:45

Not allowed in Scotland. You must be fully qualified to degree level in a subject you teach and do a probation period in each additional subject.

TheFallenMadonna Sun 23-Mar-14 19:35:57

If you served a probationary period in a second subject, could you then just teach that subject exclusively?

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now