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Retraining to be a secondary school teacher-how do I do it?

(17 Posts)
Susieloo Wed 20-Feb-13 10:27:05

I'm probably going to be out of a job in 2015 and this has given me the kick up the arse I needed to think seriously about becoming a teacher-something I've been thinking about for a while. I literally have no idea where to start, I have a 2:1 in English and European Literature and Sociology so would hope to teach English. Can I do an open university PGCE whilst I'm still working, I have one ds who is 8 months old so not sure if this is even feasible, is it better to wait until I'm out of work and then train full time? How much does it cost? How do I find out if I'm eligible --good enough--to train? Any help gratefully received and apologies for naivety of questions I've googled too much and confused myself!!

cherrypiesally Wed 20-Feb-13 18:54:36

OU is good, can be done more flexibly over a couple of years. No idea of cost though and may be tiring whilst working as you gave to fi blocks of weeks in school so that may not fit in. The OU encourages you to find on placements though. I just had a OU PGCE student finish placements with us ans now has a job at ours. Aim to get some time in secondary schools before you apply as many PGCE's ask for this. I did the same degree as you many years ago and I teach sociology and history after training at Keele. If you are near SE London I can help you with placements or visits as I am a PCM in a secondary school, just PM me. Alternative is schools Direct which starts thus September. Good luck. X

Susieloo Wed 20-Feb-13 19:05:58

Thanks cherry-I've found a teacher training roadshow in a few weeks so I'm going to go and have a chat to them, I'm thinking the schools direct route might be the way to go - thank you for the offer but I'm midlands/wales border-thanks again.

lpy101 Thu 21-Feb-13 08:03:36

You could try the GTP route. I believe you get paid on the job, whilst you train.

Just a thought.....x

cherrypiesally Thu 21-Feb-13 08:31:44

GTP is in its last year unfortunately, replaced by schools Direct.
Susie- hope the roadshow is useful.

HellesBelles396 Thu 21-Feb-13 08:36:54

you can be paid for schools direct but it's not automatic - it's at the discretion of the training school.

Susieloo Thu 21-Feb-13 13:10:20

Thank you all-Schools direct sounds the best route for me I think so I'll ask loads of questions when I go to the roadshow-thanks all, googling is useful but throws up more questions than answers!!

Amphitrite Fri 22-Feb-13 13:00:30

I don't know if you have found this out by now, but the OU PGCE does not offer an English option unfortunately. I did a PGCE fulltime with older children, it will be tough with a baby, but if you are committed it is doable. Do not underestimate the sheer hard work involved - PGCE consumes your life for a year.

Susieloo Fri 22-Feb-13 17:43:47

Thank you amp I did wonder why there wasn't an English option when I looked on the OU site but just presumed I was looking in the wrong place, thank you, that pretty much rules that option out so at least I can look at other options-thanks again.

notnagging Fri 22-Feb-13 17:59:46

Get the tes( times educational) & have a look at job vacancies. Pgce is full fees now & shortage subjects have added incentives. The govt change the amount of places depending on how many teachers secure jobs at the end of training. Core subjects like English, maths & science have more vacancies. Aim to be a headteacher. There's loads of vacancies for themwink

slambang Fri 22-Feb-13 18:06:53

In the meantime get as much experience as you can with secondary aged children. Volunteer with Scouts/ Guides/ outdoor sports/ youth clubs or whatever floats your boat. Contact local schools to ask if you can do some observations especially of English lessons. Try to get experience in a range of different age groups and types of schools.

If you don't have recent school and young people experience you will find it hard to get accepted on a PGCE.

Susieloo Sat 23-Feb-13 09:31:46

Thanks slam and not - great advice so thanks again

Phineyj Sun 24-Feb-13 13:50:45

I was in your position -- I tutored for a while to get the hang of the syllabuses in the subjects I wanted to teach (you don't need any specific qualifications to tutor other than subject knowledge and patience). Then I asked everyone I knew who was a teacher, current or retired, which schools they might be able to get me into for a day or two to observe (it is surprisingly hard to get schools to agree to this without a personal contact).

I applied for a PGCE but was horrified when I worked out how much it would cost me once I took into account loss of earnings. Then I realised that you don't have to be qualified for schools to employ you (although with a core subject like English that would mainly apply to academies and the independent sector). I got an unqualified post and was able to convince the school to train me -- we used the GTP, which has now morphed into Schools Direct. I now have QTS -- it took two years almost exactly, from the point where I decided to change career.

The point is I got paid for everything I did, apart from the days observing in schools, and I had a good idea whether I'd enjoy it or not by the time I started on the training.

However, there is a shortage of teachers in my subject (think about second subjects you could offer -- Drama? RS? Sociology is sometimes offered as an A level. You can do 'subject enhancement courses' to beef up your knowledge of second subjects -- the OU offer them and there are also specialist providers).

Good luck and be prepared to do loads of research and ask lots of questions, as changing career into teaching is really complicated -- not complicated to DO, if you see what I mean, but complicated to find out the info and make your way through the baffling language and assumptions! If you come across phrases you just don't understand, PM me...I was considering making a glossary at one point.

Good luck.

Phineyj Sun 24-Feb-13 17:57:08

I mean it took 2 years from deciding to change career to get qualified, not to get QTS -- the training part took two terms (although it's not widely advertised, training can be done in one or two terms if you have previous teaching experience). By the way, one thing I didn't realise was that training providers vary enormously in what they offer/what they cost/how they treat you, although all are working to the same Ofsted rules.

Susieloo Mon 25-Feb-13 09:26:28

Thanks phin-that's all really useful information and I really appreciate your responses-thanks again

AlisonMoyet Mon 25-Feb-13 09:27:57

I would say finding out how to do it is a test of if you are clever enough to be one! is it really that hard?!

Phineyj Mon 25-Feb-13 12:04:05

Yes it is AlisonMoyet, because of the assumption of a lot of knowledge about how it all works, the many many training pathways and the constant moving of the goalposts by the government! And I was a professional researcher working with the NHS before so had plenty of experience with baffling language...finding out about teaching was considerably more challenging though.

Best of luck OP, you will find a way I'm sure.

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