Advanced search

Teaching qualifications?

(22 Posts)
NickAngel Mon 01-Jun-15 12:54:21

Just wondered if a teaching qualification (PGCE or B.ed) means you are qualified to teach any age? Would a secondary trained teacher be qualified to work in a preschool or Year 2 and vice versa?
Would an experienced teacher be considered for a TA post in a different age range as unqualified as they didn't have HLTA or rejected from a preschool post as they didn't have Level 3 Early Years?
I'm asking as I'm not sure if I'm qualified for a position and not sure if a PGCE and years of experience 'trumps' a Level 3.
How hard is it to move across from secondary? Any experiences of this would be marvellous thanks.

MrsUltracrepidarian Mon 01-Jun-15 14:19:20

I have a PGCE secondary, chose to do supply instead of NQT, so no other experience, and have had to fighting off daily requests to do primary (any year), because I don't want to do primary! I have done a number of days in primary, and have been asked back as did an okay job, and was asked to apply for a FT position.
So yes - you can. And if you decide to supply for a while, and are in London very easy to build up experience and see which schools you want o apply to and which never to revisit. Primary schools are desperate.

BackforGood Mon 01-Jun-15 14:23:52

Yes - in terms of qualification. there are people that specialise though, and, presumably would be preferred if going for the same job. So - I did a BEd, and have taught for more years than I care to remember in Primary and Special, so I really wouldn't think it a good idea for me to go and apply for a job teaching French or maybe A-level History, etc., but the teaching qualification, per se, qualifies you for all ages.
If someone did an 'Early Years' Qualification - it may take them right out of their comfort zone and experience and skill set, but they can still be put into Yr5 or wherever if that's what the school needs them to do.

morethanpotatoprints Mon 01-Jun-15 14:31:04

I was told you could only teach the actual qualification you received, either primary or secondary.
Also, that only PGCE or PgCE allowed you to teach in schools because people could do a B.ed who hadn't got a first degree and that to teach you needed a degree.
This was only 2010/11 academic year, how things change.
We were told to suck it up by the union, even though they agreed that with a PC PgCE we shouldn't be teaching anything under A level, or A level in a 6th form as this was considered secondary confused

MirandaWest Mon 01-Jun-15 14:34:22

A B Ed is a first degree surely?

morethanpotatoprints Mon 01-Jun-15 15:05:24

I think they meant a subject you could actually teach.
you would only teach education in a college or uni, post compulsory.
It's obviously changed so much in the past few years.
Maybe it is different for supply to those holding the position as the actual teacher.

Tbh the reason I didn't continue was because I was expected to teach outside my comfort zone.
I have a PgCE PC, with 180 masters credits, (didn't want to complete Masters). My subject was Hospitality, Leisure T&T etc and I can manage most service sector occupations with a sow/ compile my own.
I don't have any GCSE's as wasn't needed for my subjects/ level.
Had a job in 6th form and as my numbers depleted was moved to cover other classes including further and A level Maths. This wasn't the odd lesson but Mat leave. I hadn't got a clue, then onto Sociology, I managed just about but was one step in front of the students.
Then one day I realised that my ability wasn't good enough for my ds2 who
was doing A level Sociology. I wouldn't want other people's children being taught by someone like me.
The union didn't want to know, so I left teaching altogether.

lechie Mon 01-Jun-15 16:11:04

Morethan - I think there's a difference between changing from primary to secondary and from FE / post compulsory to secondary.

I've been teaching 18 years, and in that time have known a few teachers who have made the jump - both ways primary to secondary and secondary to primary. I have known people do this right from the late 90s to mid 2000s. I know there used to be a six week course you could undertake if you switched. I looked at doing it myself, but in the end moved into FE instead. I don't think the course still exists, or at least I've not seen it for years. However, the way most people I know have made the switch has been through supply. They just do supply in their preferred age until they've got enough experience to take on a class.

However, traditionally FE / post compulsory has been different, because you never used to have QTS with a post compulsory PGCE / PCET. Therefore you were not qualified to go into schools (but we were always able to make the move the other way, as I did as have many of my colleagues). But this rule changed around 2012/13. I know I had a student teacher at the time doing a PCET, and initially she couldn't get QTS, but that changed during her course, and she then got a job in a secondary school where she has been teaching ever since. I know it was touch and go at the time, because the rules were changing but the advice was unclear, so she was offered the job, then told she couldn't have it, before they eventually decided she could.

As for subjects - once you've got QTS, you can teach anything! I've always taught subjects I'm not qualified in and as a RS teacher, you should see some of the people that have been forced to teach RS over the years!!!

NickAngel Mon 01-Jun-15 16:20:38

Thank you, so could I say I was qualified to work in a preschool (3-5 year olds?) because I have a degree, PGCE and Masters? Or will they want a level 3 early years?

BackforGood Mon 01-Jun-15 16:40:10

It will depend on the people doing the employing - most would want EYs qualifications. Surely you would put what your qualifications were and what your experience to date is, and let them see if they want you or not? Which, in turn would depend on the other people applying.

I can think of a fab teacher who had been in Yr6 for years, who then went into the Nursery class. She did have a dc of that age herself, but that was her only experience. However, she was going into a well set up Nursery class with 2 very experienced TAs and a massive willingness to learn and extend her skill set - it worked really well - but that's not to say anyone could work into a Nursery and do a good job, just as anyone leaping from Reception to Yr5 or 6 might do a good job or might not do a good job.

NickAngel Mon 01-Jun-15 16:44:17

Thanks, I will ask the manager tomorrow but I wanted to be sure of the facts first.

morethanpotatoprints Mon 01-Jun-15 17:16:38


I know, it just seemed strange to expect somebody with a PC PGCE to teach secondary without QTS. We were expected to though as we were contracted and employed by the school that was secondary with an additional 6th form.

We were led to believe that primary and secondary were exclusive and you couldn't teach in the other to which you were qualified.

As I say though, the rules are forever changing. I'm surprised teachers know where they are half the time grin

bobajob Mon 01-Jun-15 17:25:13

This is the qualification finder that allows you to check you are qualified to work at level 3+ in early years

QTS is considered fully qualified for counting in ratio in a pre-school.

bobajob Mon 01-Jun-15 17:30:09

In fact I believe you could have a ratio of 1:13 in a pre-school - the statutory framework just states "QTS" rather than specifying primary/secondary/early years as far as I know.

CountryLovingGirl Mon 01-Jun-15 22:04:29


I was under the impression that if you have a PC PGCE (with QTS) you can only teach certain subjects at secondary level (like psychology). For subjects like maths/chemistry the teacher would need a secondary PGCE.

I was offered a place on a PC PGCE as I had hoped to teach biology/health courses (I work part time in an NHS profession). I had also hoped to move into secondary at a later date, once I had built up experience. I felt as though I was unable to do this. It would be a better way for someone to train as I would still be able to earn a salary rather than try and live on a bursary.

lechie Tue 02-Jun-15 02:39:36

Country loving girl,

I think that used to be the case, but not since the 2012 changes. This report by the IFL looks at the impact of the change and concludes that two popular subjects people with QTLS are moving into secondary is in Maths and Science.

"The evidence of the increased IfL members gaining QTLS status provide a substantial amount of qualified professionals with wide range of teaching expertise including the shortage subjects of mathematics, science and ICT readily available for the secondary education sector. However, more researches are needed to unveil the actual influence of the recognition of QTLS in schools"
However, it is a very small report and only looks at small numbers. But it certainly suggests it is possible. And the two people I know who have done it, have National Curriculum subjects rather than your traditional psychology / sociology or vocational subjects.

mnistooaddictive Tue 02-Jun-15 04:45:15

I looked into this a few years ago. To be counted as qualified for early years you have to have a PGCE specialising in lower primary. Even KS2 QTS doesn't count. You can however do some modules on early child development to go with your secondary PGCE to count as level 3 qualified, in fact I think you end up as level 6 qualified, the equivalent of EYPS. This was 3 years ago however so things may have changed.

bobajob Tue 02-Jun-15 08:15:53

Do you have a link to that? I could only find reference to "QTS", and certainly the nursery and reception teachers at my school have general primary PGCEs not lower primary specialties.

CountryLovingGirl Tue 02-Jun-15 10:13:43


Thanks for the link. I will take a look later.

I was offered a place last year but deferred. I can still do it this September. I am, actually, hoping to change career away from the NHS as my job has relocated and I am working a lot of unsocial hours these days and it is no longer compatible with my circumstances (mum to an 11 year old and a 7 year old). I have a strong background in a STEM career (specialist in my field) and also have spent time, over the years, as a STEM ambassador in secondary schools. The college has said I only need to be there one day a week (over 2 years) and they have offered me teaching hours on the Biology/BTEC Applied Science course (also, maths as I have an interest in that area). They are also opening a brand new STEM centre, this September, that will cover the whole area. I really 'feel' like this is the way to go but I would prefer 6th form or secondary once qualified (the college does, however, have a 6th form attached). I planned on working part time, in the NHS, while I train (mortgage to pay/eldest starts secondary school this September so more costs).

However, I have also been offered a place on a primary PGCE course for September. Not sure I can afford to do it though. Only £4K bursary (I have a 2:1 with Masters). Also, my 'gut feeling' is that I should stick with what I know best (STEM).

I really hope that schools do take FE trained teachers. What is the difference between going from primary to secondary and FE to secondary? Personally, I would have though the FE teacher was a better option to go into secondary as they already teach at that level and use the same exam board etc.
I had a look at a few job adverts last night and a lot of them are suitable for someone FE trained.

Decisions, decisions...

CountryLovingGirl Tue 02-Jun-15 10:15:17

Oh, and I was thinking of doing an A level in maths at the same time.

mrsnewfie Tue 02-Jun-15 13:04:10

I went from a secondary science teacher to working in a pre school and childminding at the same time. The preschool employed me as a qualified teacher and were happy with my QTS status.
Childminders follow the same EYFS sometimes with very little to no training in the area. This is probably set to change though.
I think you'd be perfectly fine to change to a pre school judging by my experience

mnistooaddictive Wed 03-Jun-15 07:12:55

I am pretty sure I ended up having a phone call with an advisor in the end as the information on the website is so vague.

JacobWrestling Wed 03-Jun-15 12:27:46

There are some university courses which lead to BA or BEd with QTS. They usually take four years.

It used to be necessary for a post-compulsory trained teacher in a secondary school to get QTS as well. I put several colleagues with QTLS through an assessment-only route to jump this hoop. This changed in 2012 and QTLS is now sufficient to teach in secondary.

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