PGCE decision(20 Posts)
Please may I ask your advice? I have been really fortunate to receive 2 PGCE offers and I need to decide between them.
The first is a SCITT place at a lovely school about 20 mins from me. The headteacher has said that is her intention to offer me an NQT position in the school, all being well after my PGCE placement.
Alternatively, I've been offered a university place. The university is 45 mins from me but I'm aware that most of the time I won't be there. I met with the tutors etc and found the department really inspirational.
My instinct is to go with the SCITT place but I am concerned that the place is very likely to be with a year 6 class and I am worried that the year may be focussing very much on SATs and levels rather than a greater breadth of subject matter. I currently work in a year 4 class and love this age group.
Has anyone any experience and what would you recommend? I need to make the decision by tomorrow evening so any advice would be very welcome.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
how important is the likelihood of a job offer? better said, is the 20 minute commute important to you? do you have the means by which to commute an hour and 20 minutes if necessary? Primary jobs in some areas are very difficult to come by....I say that as someone who re-trained in teaching a few years ago via the PGCE route and who, as a single parent, needed a job close to home. I got a job close to home but it was, frankly, more by luck than judgement! The PGCE may require you to travel a considerable distance for a placement - what have they said about this and are they willing to look at your personal circumstances? My university were genuinely brilliant with me but were less than helpful with others....Personally, I'd look at the long term but appreciate that's my personal situation saying that. If you have a supportive partner, are able to commute and genuinely liked the university, the PGCE might work better for you but just be aware of the job situation. Have a play around on TES tonight with job vacancies - how many currently advertised within what distance? It's not an exact science but it might help clarify your thinking.
Personally I wouldn't recommend doing a PGCE at all.
Caronaim why is that? I am seriously considering doing a PGCE next year (in MFL)...
I have had a few people say they'd recommend Schools Direct rather than a PGCE, and a few people shake their heads and ask "why would you want to be a teacher..."
Don't do schools direct MFLl! If you really want to be a teacher, do PGCE, but only at a top institution. Ask people for info on the places you are considering.
Seriously, read the threads on before you commit to any teacher training.
As an MFL HOD I would probably hire the PGCE MFL NQT over SCITT. In my experience they have a wider range of experience with a wider range of students and colleagues and are better at adapting to a new schools ways. I also wouldn't trust the school to hold up their end of the bargain of a job offer... You won't have to look far through these and TES threads to see NQTs who have been caught out.
fourcorneredcircle, that's good to hear. The teachers I've spoken to have all said that the PGCE provides more classroom strategies, etc. I also didn't go to school in the UK (have now naturalised, though), and I'm experiencing the education system 2nd hand through DCs, but thought it would be good to get a little bit more formal training on UK secondaries.
Signora, where we live, I'm limited in choice to top institutions only. I'm hoping to get in - just applying now as I wanted to sort a reference from a long way back from when I taught in a summer programme back home while I was at Uni. I have a good postgraduate degree in my subject, good professional experience (though in a totally different field) and I had a PGCE place at a different top institution a few years ago, but was unable to take it up for personal reasons. Fingers crossed it works out.
The second rate institution I was at was the school's Direct provider (PGCE) alongside their 'own' PDCE. The fees charged to students were the same, the experience starkly different In fact I just sent a formal letter of complaint to the NCITT about the wild disparity in the quality of the the programmes. SD were definitely treated as second string, cash cows, and there was a passive aggressive resistance to SD from the tutors - my own tutor was openly hostile to the scheme and put in minimal effort compared to her own 'PGs as she called them.... ( threat to unis)
Avoid SD like the plague. My school has had a couple of SD trainees and the whole thing is a shambles. They were completely unprepared for what school is like, very little useful strategies for behaviour/planning and rubbish communication with the school. Completely thrown in at the deep end.
This was run through a highly prestigious university BTW.
Do not do SD. Teachers are not prepared for it at all and a lot of them are actually ferociously against it so will constantly undermine you. While they tell you how shit you are, they'll also be more than happy to dump all PPA cover on you (and not just for your class) during which you'll get no training.
Like Signora, we're putting in a complaint through the NCITT.
I'm training via SCITT, have to say that my experience has been nothing but positive, it really does seem to be luck of the draw with which school you are at. It is exhausting (I have slept a lot since breaking up on Friday) but teachers/school leads/subject leads and University have all been extremely supportive, really helpful and going above and beyond.
Luck of the draw, yes. But when you leave an established career, you want a bit more certainty. And in our LEA, no-one's happy, no-one. It could be that some LEAs are worse than others...
I trained on an employment-based route and am firmly in favour of them. However, I would urge only doing SCITT in a school with significant experience of supporting trainees on employment-based training programmes: Teach First, the old GTP and RTP, the old OTT schemes etc. These schools will already have their own training programmes and solid support structures in place, and staff will be well used to the needs of trainees and unfazed by them. Ideally, find somewhere with official Training School status. SCITT does mean being chucked in at the deep end, and this suits many people - some find the PGCE really frustrating. With proper systemic support it is an excellent way to train, but I am hearing lots of horror stories about trainees who are having awful experiences in schools which can't support them, and paying £9k for the privilege.
Sorry - Teaching School status, not training.
Go with your gut instincts about where you are going to get the best teaching and mentoring.
Whatever the employment possibilities at the end of the course, you want to feel like you are a properly trained professional.
It's not fun being a teacher when you know your training was not fit for purpose.
Bitlost, well exactly and I have done just that, jacked it all in and paid Â£9k for the privilege!
I don't think that a PGCE is in any way a safer bet, I have met a few people who have had awful experiences on the PGCE, lack of support in school and University. It is all pretty much a gamble tbh.
Thanks for the advice Lizzylou. Thinking of switching to pgce but it all seems too much of a gamble. End of the road for DH, it seems with no job to go back to and a black mark on his CV. Don't want to put off people but I really feel people shoukd know.
Could not agree more with you MaraThonbar about going with a school used to employment-based training.
Not sure I did advise, but thanks anyway.
Op, the go with your gut is the only real advice I think. I turned down other routes for this course as it just felt right, and it has been thus far.
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