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Is PGCE Further Education or Higher Education worth it?

(14 Posts)
purplehann Wed 07-Sep-16 23:20:22

Hey everyone,

So I've been reading a lot of old threads on here and on other websites that have pointed out that getting a PGCE Post Compulsory/ PGCE Further Education qualification is pointless because there's no funding and no jobs in further education. People say it's better to get a Secondary PGCE so that you can work with people from 11-18. Is that true? Is getting a PGCE for further education pointless?

What if I wanted to work in universities/ the higher education sector? Is it still worth doing a Secondary PGCE or should I find a Higher Education PGCE?

Sorry for all the questions but I'm so confused as to what I should do. I would like to teach English or Media to 16+ students but people say it's not worth doing anything apart from a Secondary PGCE.

Thanks for your help in advance smile x

wizzywig Wed 07-Sep-16 23:22:30

Ill probably be no real help. Im not a teacher. I too have heard the same thing. You dont need an fe/he pgce to teach a levels or college level.

sashh Thu 08-Sep-16 09:42:13

You dont need an fe/he pgce to teach a levels or college level.

Yes you do. And since there is now parity with QTS and QTLS you can use it to teach in schools.

One major difference with FE PGCE/DTTLS is that it is a teaching qualification not a qualification to teach a particular subject so you can use it to teach a number of subjects if you have the subject knowledge.

purplehann Thu 08-Sep-16 11:51:04

Thank you ladies. Yes I hope to gain QTLS, hopefully this will help me teach older teens and adults.

Thanks Sashh, that's really helpful smile

mayathebee Thu 08-Sep-16 14:27:30

I've been teaching part time in a college for 3 years (I teach GCSE to adults, A-levels and BTECs). I don't have any qualifications and I was offered the chance to do a FE PGCE through the college but chose to leave and do the secondary PGCE instead. It was a difficult decision as the FE PGCE was part time and really flexible plus I could be paid for some of my teaching but ultimately I was put off because:

1. When I did secondary school observations many of the teachers/HODs/Heads I spoke to said that they wouldn't consider employing a teacher without a secondary PGCE unless they had significant experience in secondary schools, even if they had QTLS. I think this might vary between schools, areas and subjects and probably depends how difficult it is to recruit.

2. The college I work in struggles for funding and staff are having hours cut/being put on zero hours contracts. There aren't too many colleges here so I didn't want to be restricted to FE.

3. I'm lucky that trainees in my subject get a bursary which covers my fees plus some bills which is better than having to take out a large loan to do the FE PGCE.

That's just my experience though and I don't know anything about getting into HE teaching/lecturing. I'm a scientist and the university lecturers I know are also doing research there which I don't want to go back to. Feel free to pm me if you have any questions and good luck with whatever you decide.

purplehann Thu 08-Sep-16 18:02:28

Hi Maya,

Thanks for your input. It was really insighful. I get what you and other people mean about FE but as that is now out of the question, I'm now torn between Secondary PGCE and HE PGCE. I like the idea of working in a university however, as you mentioned most lecturers do research. I don't want to have to do a PhD to teach art/design/media. Do you know whether every lecturer has to have a PhD, even in creative arts and media?

I feel as though people think the QTLS is pretty much useless even though it has parity with the QTS. I don't know. I'm still a bit confused confused

gillybeanz Thu 08-Sep-16 18:10:54

hello OP.
I did it and taught for a bit, but the conditions and pay aren't worth it.
I was better off on tax credits tbh.
There are very few contracts, only one of my peers gained a contract at the end and she Taught Maths, which was in demand as there were many who had missed out at school.
I was paid on my contact with students, no pay for parents evening, planning, producing resources, etc.
The worst bit were schools expecting us to teach secondary when only qualified for FE. I left my job in the end as I was expected to teach subjects I hadn't even got a GCSE in at a higher level.
The union didn't want to know, so I left teaching and won't be going back.
It's a shame funding is so bad, but it's the way it is now.
I would do secondary or preferably Uni, where I believe a Masters is sufficient.

gillybeanz Thu 08-Sep-16 18:12:06

My F.E PgCE covers Me to work in a Uni, if of course I had the relevant masters.

moonfacebaby Thu 08-Sep-16 18:20:10

F.E is a bit screwed, to be honest...

I qualified back in 1996 & it's got gradually worse every year. The pay is poor too - in comparison to schools.

It's harder to find decent contracts (as in permanent) & many colleges are merging.

I teach art & textiles & both of those subjects are suffering - probably as students realise jobs are hard to come by in those areas. It will get worse too as schools push creative subjects out in favour of sciences, maths etc, as the government doesn't seem to put any value at all on creative subjects (God knows what I will do for a job!!).

I wouldn't want to teach in a school - I prefer the older students, smaller class sizes & the level is great to teach. But I do wonder whether I might have to consider it as an option (if they would have me).

pilkio Thu 08-Sep-16 18:29:54

I am an FE English teacher. This year cuts have been awful. My previous place of employment is set two merge this year due to funding cuts. Many of my colleagues have lost their jobs during the summer. There is no job security teaching in FE at the moment.

pilkio Thu 08-Sep-16 18:30:50

Oh wow 'two' = to of courseblush

purplehann Thu 08-Sep-16 21:03:24

@gillybeanz Sorry you had such a hard time! I definitely agree with you regarding wanting to work in a uni. I've got a Masters degree already, but I've been told that in order to work in universities, a PhD is usually required. I hope the PGCE in Higher Education that I might do will be sufficient.

@moonfacebaby I have an MA in Graphic Design and a BA in Digital Media, I'm hoping it will take me into art/design/media teaching in universities.

@pilkio Do you think these job cuts are centered on FE? Does it also apply to HE? I am more interested in getting into HE teaching but I wonder if cuts are also happening there?

dailyarsewipe Thu 08-Sep-16 21:12:59

HE lecturer here. We have to have a level 7 post grad certificate in learning and teaching in HE, MSc and in some cases PhD (I suspect we will all have to have a PhD soon).

purplehann Thu 08-Sep-16 22:07:21

Daily, thanks! In that case, I believe my BA, MA and a further level 7 teaching qualification ie PGCert Higher Education should suffice? I hope so anyway. I don't think that the subject(s) I want to teach will require a PhD.

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