Advice about choosing training provider(16 Posts)
Asking on behalf of my DS who is due to graduate next year has decided he wants to teach. He has a fair bit of classroom and teaching experience and wants to teach Maths, preferably A level though he recognises that he will have to do 11 to 18 initially.
He's looking at the Schools Direct (not salaried) or SCITT route, with a provider near home so he can live at home during the training year.
There are several local scemes within commuting distance.
From research it seems that the quality of SD training is variable. Any ideas what sort of questions to ask, what sort of set up to look for / avoid?
Why does he want to do Schools Direct over a PGCE? As you say the quality is heavily dependent on the school and he could just end up as low paid staff rather than getting proper training.
There are 'thinking about teaching' and 'student teacher' subforums on the TES forum community.tes.com which he should read to get an idea of the current situation.
Thanks noble. I think he's been advised by uni careers that SD would suit him. He seems to think pgce would be a year at uni and not classroom based. Never heard of the TES forum will tell him. I know from many years of MN that you are a maths teacher. Is it as bad as it's painted?
A PGCE has a lot more uni time then Schools Direct, but a lot of the year is spent on school placements teaching.
I like teaching, but things aren't great at the moment. Our NQT and NQT+1 last year both quit to teach abroad because they want lives, and one of our most experienced (and outstanding) teachers quit to make a living from tutoring, selling resources and exam marking. My department is usually pretty stable so this was quit a big change.
DS did a university based PGCE last year. He was in schools for the vast majority of the time, being placed in two different state schools. He secured a job at his first interview in February. On the academic side he had to provide 3 masters level papers to achieve the PGCE and pass his placements to gain QTS He lived away but you may be able to find a good provider in the local area. The Good Teacher Training Guide 2015 may help sort the wheat from the chaff.
DC is nqt+1 having completed pgce. The pace included two fairly long placements as well as the time at university. DC felt they had an advantage over SD people as the university stuff was intended to be useful in many settings whereas SD seemed to be very much tailored to suit the school concerned. Clearly the placement schools agreed as both invited DC to apply for vacancies at the schools and DC was pleased to be offered a position at their first choice.
On the off chance your son ever wants to teach in Australia; they only accept PGCE.
I thought SD led to a PGCE, just by a different route?
Thanks all I'll pass this on. It seems he should look again at university courses.
A schools direct route leads to QTS (qualified teacher status) but doesn't always give a PGCE (Post Graduate Certificate in Education).
Some countries (Australia & Scotland off the top of my head) don't recognise school based training without the PGCE. So if he wants to travel at all it may be better to make sure the course he does involves a PGCE.
Thanks Jelly. Just double checked and all the ones he has looked at include a PGCE from a partner university, so I assumed that was the norm.
I think you need a PGCE to teach abroad-that is worth bearing in mind.
Check it is a Postgraduate cert, rather than Professional. The key is whether it has masters credits attached. Didn't affect me as I had no plans to teach abroad, but many from my Scitt PGCE route were dismayed to discover we were doing Professional rather than postgraduate, with no credits at M level. SD, as said, varies hugely and is a bit luck of the draw. However, a good SD experience is probably better grounding for NQT and beyond than most PGCEs.
Thanks Party do you mean that PGCE sometimes stands for Professional Graduate Certificate of Education?
Teaching abroad has never been mentioned. Nevertheless he clearly needs the proper accreditation.
It is not the case that PGCE always involves more univeristy. It depends on the provider for School Direct. Mine was through a university - 20 of us training in our subject, a mix of salaried and non salaried. We all had exactly the same course and university input, but the non salaried people had the option to submit three papers and get a PGCE. The salaried trainees had more time in school because we were employed by he school and taught up to 80% timetable by the end of the year whereas the unsalaried trainees finished early for Christmas and in June because they were technically university students.
I've since met people who did the 'straight' PGCE which was very much university based and they were parachuted in and out of their schools for placements. The benefit of school direct is that it's not such a shock when you start your NQT year. I know I was incredibly lucky to be looked after by such a good university and I also had a fabulous mentor in school.
I would always advise a route that includes university level input. You need the theory behind the approaches, the space to discuss with others and to develop academic reflection skills. My limited experience of school based schemes like SCITTs is that this input is not so common.
The SCITT programme I work with definitely has pgce attached, my students have to complete assignments. I really like this programme as students are in school from start, they feel they 'belong' to their home school but still get mentoring and professional studies so the practical teaching, the theory and pedagogy are all included! Living at home is definitely a good idea too! It will take all his time and emotions to begin with. Can I suggest he spends some time in both primary and secondary schools to be sure what he wants...this profession isn't always easy but it is fabulous!!
Thanks folks, I'm passing this onto DS.
Fallulah I've been struggling to work out the difference between SCITT and SD. I think the peer support on a university course where others are training in the same subject would be valuable.
samlovesdilys "belonging" to the home school seems to be a factor in DS's preference for SD. He's def not interested in primary, he really wants to teach A level but understands that, initially at least, he needs to train for 11 to 18.
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