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Calling anyone who has done a PGCE recently - help please!

(16 Posts)
countrylass Mon 13-Jun-05 20:15:28


I would really appreciate any advice/information that anybody could give me. I live in Norfolk and have just finished 2 years of a degree with the aim of going into teacher training at the end of year 3. I know there are various options -PGCE/SCITT/GTP/RTP, and have narrowed my choices down to either attempting to get in to a highly sought after PGCE at a university approx. 25 miles away, or going for a SCITT. Ideally I would prefer to do a distance PGCE but have come up blanks so far - I am doing an English degree and the OU cater for every subject but English, plus I cannot find any other long distance institutions within reasonable distance if I am required to travel their several times a year. My other option is a SCITT - I have sent away for info. regarding this at the nearest office to me, but they are apparently 'under validation' and won't be able to give any specific details until Sept/Oct, which is really the time I should apply by (very useful!) I have heard that a PGCE is the most demanding as it includes a greater work load academically, which concerns me as I will have to combine this with a couple of hours travel a day and a young son. Basically I would appreciate any advice from anybody who has done a SCITT/PGCE regarding fitting it in with other commitments, or whether anybody knows of any distance courses that are okay.

Thanks alot

ChocolateGirl Tue 14-Jun-05 19:34:35

I'm afraid I haven't done a PGCE so I'm not in a position to advise. However, I am hoping to do a PGCE/some sort of teaching qualification myself and your thread caught my eye. Sorry to hijack, but could you tell me what a SCITT is? And is it primary or secondary you are trying to get in to?

thank you

happymerryberries Tue 14-Jun-05 19:38:48

I did a distance PGCE with the OU. It wasn't easy to fit in with the family, but not impossible.

One advantage with the PGCE over the GTP is that with the GTP you just get qualified Teacher Status, with the PGCE you get the PGCE and QTS. It isn't supposed to matter, but if they take the same amount of time to 'do' why not go for the one that gets you the most qualifications?

Can't comment on SCITT, don't know enough about it.

I had no probelm getting a job with a 'distance couse' PGCE. I had two offers of jobs from the schools where I did my Teacher training.

sharry Tue 14-Jun-05 19:46:13

Country lass,
try the TTA website as to whos offering pgce's. Usually they are over an achademic year but this then depends on your individual experience etc. Additionally, they are availible with QTS part-time and flexible, and distance. I do know that St Martins (Lancaster) offer this their admissions number is 015394-30211.

countrylass Tue 14-Jun-05 21:40:24

Hi all

Thanks for your messages. Sharry - I looked at the St Martins website but this is for people who live in the North of England - however, this sort of thing would be ideal if I could find an institution nearer to me - it's sod's law that there doesn't seem to be one!

Chocolate girl - a SCITT is 'School Centred Initial Teacher Training' - this is where you are based in a school for the majority of your training, whereas on a PGCE there is more time spent in university/college. Apparently with a SCITT, the organisers try to place you in a school nearby, however I'm not exactly sure what else it entails.

By the way, I am hoping to train in the age range of 7 - 11 years.

CopperCoin Mon 20-Jun-05 11:27:06

Hi there countrylass
Your thread caught my eye as I also live in Norfolk and am doing a degree at UEA with the idea of doing the PGCE there when I have finished. My brother has just completed it. Have you tried approaching them - they are so friendly and will do all they can to help - especially mature students. Best of luck

throckenholt Mon 20-Jun-05 11:29:50

Hi CopperCoin,

what degree are you doing ? And what subjuect would you do in the PGCE ?

I am mulling over whether PGCE would be worth doing too.

CopperCoin Mon 20-Jun-05 17:48:10

I'm doing Development Studies/Geography, although had to take a year out to have Mikey (6months now). I want to do primary PGCE so not specialise in a particular subject although if I did decide on secondary it would be Geography. Got to juggle it all with baby but hoping that he will get a place at the uni nursery come September.
Which degree did you do?

Tonto Mon 20-Jun-05 18:09:26


I did a Primary PGCE at De Montford in Bedford last year. It was a bit of an intense 10 months as I had 2 kids of 2 & 6 mnths at the time but I got through it. From a quality point of view, the time at school was worth 10 times the time spent in college. I would definitely feel better qualified if I had been in school more - a SCITT would give you this. By the way I decided to it when my kids were so young so that they wouldn't ever remember being left with the childminder every day! I now have to find a school to do my probabtion year but this can be dome part time.

countrylass Mon 20-Jun-05 20:49:54

CopperCoin - thanks for your message. Ideally I would like to do my PGCE at the UEA (if I were fortunate enough to be accepted!) but I was reading through the brochure and it did specifically say that students were required to be at the university from about eight am until five o clock time, even if they had childcare commitments and that has worried me a bit. Don't get me wrong - I expect it to be long hours, but my degree hours are slightly more child friendly! Unfortunately they don't offer the course on a part time basis. Plus, the two hour trip each day would make it lots longer. I guess because the UEA are pretty high on the scale for desirable teacher training institutions, I am assuming that somebody like me with other commitments may look less favourable to them. Does/did your brother have a family when he did his PGCE there?

Tonto - was your PGCE distance learning?

Tonto Tue 21-Jun-05 14:39:31

No, not distance learning. I was full time at college or at school. I did look around for distance learning PGCEs but couldn't find one for primary.

Ameriscot2005 Tue 21-Jun-05 14:49:31

Not recent experience, but I did a PGCE with 2 young children. The university was about 25 miles away, and the placement schools 20 - 30 miles away.

I was working immediately before starting the PGCE, so the boys were used to being at the childminder from 8 - 6 everyday; I could travel and fit in all the work within these 10 hours.

I investigated doing the OU course to see if I could continue working for a few months into it, but decided that this wouldn't have been possible and the 18-month duration (compared to 9 months for the full-time course) would just have prolonged the agony.

CopperCoin Wed 22-Jun-05 19:53:56

Hi there countrylass
Sorry taken me so long to get back to you but havn't been on here for a couple of days.

My brother did the PGCE at UEA in 2003/2004 and I was at the uni as well so we shared lifts. I can't remember any time when his lectures started before 9am, or went on after 3.30pm. Obviously the time that you spend at schools will be the school hours and I guess for that you could try and get schools close to you.

The problem really was that the parking at uni is bad and you had to be there by 8.30 to guarantee a parking place. They are in the process of trying to improve that. Also the traffic getting in is busy but that should get better with the new hospital entrance. Which way would you be coming in? I come in on the Watton road so get stuck at the hospital.

It is a fairly intense year. Not at all sure how I'm going to cope when my PGCE year finally gets here and will have to do a total rethink if I don't get a nursery place.

HTH - keep in touch about how you get on.

countrylass Fri 24-Jun-05 10:40:50

Hi Copper Coin

Thanks for your reply. I have spoken to a careers advisor and she said that the best thing to do was to apply for all the different routes into teaching including the PGCE at the UEA. Its still another year away so I've plenty of time to sort out childminding! Its reassuring to hear that your brother did reasonable hours, I was just concerned becauuse in the brochure it said that students were expected to be there from 9 - 5. However, my careers advisor said that only about half the course was spent at college anyway. Did your brother get a school placement convenient to where he lived, or was he placed anywhere?
The other option that I found out more about was the Graduate Teacher Programme - you work full time hours in a school and basically train on the job for about £13K a year. The problem is finding funding and a school that will accomodate you, so I'm now looking into that!

I know what you mean about the UEA parking. I've visited a few times to use the library and its a bit of a nightmare!

CopperCoin Tue 28-Jun-05 20:05:45

Hi there again Countrylass
Each time my brother got placements at schools near him. He also did it with a friend of his that has children who found the same thing. There was also a single mum on his course and they were really good to her about where she went. They seem to try so hard to help out and do their best to help.
Also - as you heard only half the course is actually at uni and the uni terms are very child friendly.
With my course it is great to be with other people as we all supported each other. UEA has loads of mature students with children.
Hope that you decide to go there in the end - I love the place. Keep in touch whatever you decide. My email address is
Take care.

countrylass Mon 04-Jul-05 19:42:42

Hi Copper Coin

Thanks for your message - I shall make note of your e-mail address and let you know how I get on, perhaps it will help out when you come to do your teacher training. Good luck with your course!


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