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Teacher Training through SCITT Program

(26 Posts)
PersianCatLady Wed 31-May-17 10:32:24


I would just like to ask if any of you have gone through the SCITT Program to train as a teacher.

What was it like and would you recommend it?

toomuchicecream Thu 01-Jun-17 13:32:49

Haven't been through the programme but had a SCITT student last autumn and have tutored for local SCITT. Based on what I've read online, it's a bit like the wild west - some SCITTs seem excellent in terms of organisation and support (both for student teachers and schools) and some seem like they couldn't organise their way out of a paper bag. How you tell what your SCITT will be like before you start, I have no idea.

Personally, I am deeply, deeply dubious about them. Too much depends on the teacher you are placed with in school as to whether you have a good experience or not. My local SCITT gives students two half days on teaching Maths - how can that ever be enough? They are reliant on students being taught subject knowledge and pedagogy in school, which in turn is very much dependent on who your class teacher is.

I lost pretty much all of my PPA/non-contact time in the autumn term to support my student. OK - I gained when she was teaching, but as I had to be in the room there was a limit to what I could do with the time. I then had to spend huge amounts of time verifying evidence and writing an end of placement report (my mood wasn't helped by the student not having all her evidence uploaded in time for me to verify it, despite me having told her when I'd be doing it, so I then had to go back on a second Saturday and do the job all over again when she'd finally got her act together).

But for me, the icing on the cake was that my student had paid £9K for the course (and gave the distinct impression that she felt it was my responsibility to make sure she passed the placement, as she'd paid so much). My school got £238 for all my work over the term. I, obviously, got absolutely nothing. For that, I was expected to be out of the classroom on compulsory training and meetings with the SCITT something like 3 days in total, in addition to the weekly meetings, lesson observations, feedback meetings etc etc etc.

I don't doubt what my Head tells me, that at the end of the year the SCITT students are all good/outstanding teachers and really ready for whole class responsibility in September. My concern is the cost to the hosting schools and to the hosting teachers who kindly share their classes. I've told my Head I won't ever host a SCITT student again, nor will I tutor for them. That's a loss to the SCITT on both counts as I take a pride in doing a really good job in both roles. But I fail to see why I should put in so many hours for the SCITT to make a massive profit out of my efforts.

That's not what you asked, but I'm feeling better for having got it off my chest!!

kbb23 Thu 01-Jun-17 22:11:18

Im currently doing a SCITT course and nearly finished woohoo! I personally think its a great course as you get thrown in at the deep end and experience everything in school which really prepares you for the real thing. Its been hard work but totally worth it. If your extremely organised you'll be fine. I have also been lucky enough to have an amazing mentor and base school who have supported me and pushed me to be the best I can from the start.

PersianCatLady Fri 02-Jun-17 09:08:58

Thanks for your honest reply.

It is interesting to hear the other side of things.

You mention that your trainee paid £9000 for the course but didn't he / she also receive a bursary for the year?

PersianCatLady Fri 02-Jun-17 09:10:31

I am glad you are enjoying it.

What subject and age group are you studying to teach?

toomuchicecream Fri 02-Jun-17 17:10:28

No idea about bursary - she never metnioned it.

PersianCatLady Fri 02-Jun-17 17:23:15

No idea about bursary - she never metnioned it

Do you mind me asking what level and subject you were training your trainee to teach??

soapboxqueen Fri 02-Jun-17 17:32:44

I did pgce so no direct experience except as pp said, experiences can vary wildly.

I do know that scitt generally isn't accepted internationally as I think it isn't a qualification more an acknowledgement you can teach in England.

JellyTeapot Fri 02-Jun-17 17:40:56

I did SCITT almost ten years ago and echo what others say about so much depending on the quality of your mentor and training school. I had a fantastic mentor for the majority of my training but I also spent a month in a different school with a dreadful mentor which really knocked my confidence and was, on reflection, a huge waste of time. When it came to my NQT year I was more prepared than PGCE students for the workload and being in school all the time but had to do a bit of catching up with pedagogy. By the middle of the year I'd say we were all on a par with each other across the board though.

PersianCatLady Fri 02-Jun-17 18:25:42

I do know that scitt generally isn't accepted internationally as I think it isn't a qualification more an acknowledgement you can teach in England
That is the first time that I have heard that because all of the SCITT programmes I have looked out result in you getting a PGCE / QTS.

Does anybody else have any comments on this??

HazelnutHotChoc Fri 02-Jun-17 18:29:40

PersianCatLady, as far as I know, SCITT-trained teachers are just as able to work abroad as PGCE graduates are - as you say, you come out of both with the PGCE and QTS. Might be worth double-checking with your provider, but I'm fairly sure both routes to the same qualification are equally valid abroad. smile

soapboxqueen Fri 02-Jun-17 20:05:37

I've heard this from people who have followed scitt and providers. Every country has their own rules on what they will accept qualifications-wise as well as the variation between state/private/international schools. Some have language requirements or require additional tests etc. However, scitt and gtp are a route to QTS not a qualification within themselves. QTS is an English recognition of an ability to teach. Many countries require a degree or degree + pgce before consideration.

In all honesty I'd never even thought about it until I suggested to someone they taught abroad and they said they couldn't because of scitt.

soapboxqueen Fri 02-Jun-17 20:11:23

Obviously some run the pgce course along side so you'd end up with that qualification anyway and it wouldn't be a problem. You'd have to check with your provider.

PersianCatLady Fri 02-Jun-17 20:38:02

Many countries require a degree or degree + pgce before consideration
All the SCITT programs that I have looked at result in you gaining a PGCE at the end.

Thanks for the warning because it is always good to be fully prepared.

PersianCatLady Fri 02-Jun-17 20:39:47

"SCITT courses generally last one year, with many including a postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE)and/or Master’s-level credits"
This is from the government website so obviously not all SCITT programs include a PGCE.

Thanks again soapboxqueen for the heads-up.

kbb23 Fri 02-Jun-17 21:56:17

Persian i am doing primary 3-7

PersianCatLady Fri 02-Jun-17 22:43:12

Persian i am doing primary 3-7
Thanks. I want to apply to do Computer Science for ages 11-16.

MrsGuyOfGisbo Sat 03-Jun-17 07:21:09

I did Schools Direct which was a similar scheme - paid 9k ( but had 25k bursary) - it was a rubbish scheme, tho I did pass and got the PGCE. It was shambolic, the 'university' was openly resentful (my tutor was very scathing of the scheme, and the school, was unprepared - no time allotted for supervision and my 'mentor' was new to the school, shell-shocked by the behaviour of the classes,refused to go to uni liaison meetings as she did not get extra pay. She had her own problems, which she offloaded on my, and on several occasions I took over her classes as she would run out in tears!
I saw an email that was printed to the staffroom printer in error ( typical of chaotic school) from the HT gleefully telling her deputy that they were getting a free resource by having an SD trainee - wish I had kept it and sent to the DoE...
So, all experiences will differ, but to be safe(er) go for regular PGCE - same cost, same bursary but better organised.

TheSpecialOne Sat 03-Jun-17 10:00:38

I did SCITT last year and it was excellent. Truly thorough training with assignments to do on top of being in class. Training was all done by our local authority team who do all the professional development courses in our authority for teachers. I felt that it prepared me really well for my not year. It was really tough but I loved it and would recommend it. One bonus was that once I got a job it was good to already know lots of people in the LEA.

CocoLoco87 Sat 03-Jun-17 10:06:48

I paid £9k to do a SCITT course a few years ago. Honestly the worst year of my life!! I had some great placements but also one where I was bullied by the staff at one school. I wasn't the only trainee to be treated this way at that school so now the college I did it through don't use that school for placements. I was incredibly depressed during that particular 6 week placement and cried every day driving home!! (And I'm not usually very emotional)
It is a great course because of all the teaching time you get to experience, but they don't let up on essays and assignments. I had around 34 essays / assignments throughout the course as well as filling up folders with teaching and learning evidence. It's full on!

MissPricklePants Sat 03-Jun-17 10:16:51

I've almost completed my scitt and loved it!! Hard work of course but I've learnt so much!

PersianCatLady Sat 03-Jun-17 10:56:45

Thank you all so much for your answers.

It seems that you either love or hate SCITT and it seems to totally depend on the quality of the individual scheme.

It has been great to hear all of your stories.

toomuchicecream Sat 03-Jun-17 18:09:11

PersianCat Lady

Do you mind me asking what level and subject you were training your trainee to teach??

I teach year 1 - all subjects, although I'm a Maths specialist. So the student in my classroom learned to teach year 1 the way I do it. But the phrase you use absolutely sums up why I was so fed up with the expectations of the SCITT - I was training my trainee to teach, with no recognition of the amount of time or work I put into it. I know my student learned a huge amount from me - she said so. But for me, it was massively time consuming with little reward. I wasn't looking for extra money for me, but my school not being out of pocket for the joy of training someone would have been nice. Not having to spend a significant amount of time during my weekends doing paperwork for her would have been nice too.

It wasn't helped by my student being the rudest student I've ever had. I ended up having to spell out to her in words of one syllable that one of the reason why I have placement students is so I can learn new ideas from them, and have a professional dialogue about possible ways of teaching a topic. In a single form entry school, that's something I don't get very often. But the student I had needed to be repeatedly reminded to send me her planning in advance. When I finally got it, it often needed substantial changes (entirely expected and normal as she was on her first placement), even though we'd gone through each lesson she was teaching in detail at our weekly meeting. I would write a carefully phrased email back to her, trying to get the right combination of encouragement and improvement points so that she wasn't discouraged but my class didn't have to endure a shockingly bad lesson either. Then I heard nothing. Nothing at all. So I had to point out to her that it's normal to reply to emails. Which apparently surprised her as she'd tried to incorporate my comments into her lessons. So I then had to explain that it would be useful for me to get some feedback from her. All was normal for a week or so, then the planning stopped turning up, I had to chase her for it, got it on a Sunday evening, lessons were too poor to let her teach them etc etc etc. That's not what you asked, but I feel better for having got it off my chest!!!

PersianCatLady Sat 03-Jun-17 19:37:44

That's not what you asked, but I feel better for having got it off my chest!!!
I wonder how she ever got a place as a trainee in the first place.

Her behaviour does sound appalling and TBH it doesn't sound like she was organised enough to carry out basic administration.

What happened after her training year??

toomuchicecream Sun 04-Jun-17 11:38:17

I would say immature. And self centred in a millenial kind of way. She wasn't really interested in KS1, seeing herself very much as a KS2 person and so it was quite unusual her being put in KS1 for her first placement. They did it because she said she was interested in Maths, and I'm a Maths specialist. She's on her final placement at the moment in our KS2 and by all accounts is doing OK - I don't know if that's because she's grown up over the past few months, is more comfortable in KS2, the teacher she's placed with is working his notice and so doesn't care as much as he should, or the issues I faced were as much my problem as hers. Who knows? But I was really, really excited when she left and I got my class back, which showed me how much I love teaching and having my own class!!

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