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School Direct Training

(13 Posts)
thedcbrokemybank Sat 26-Aug-17 10:29:26

I am 38 and just about to start my second year of an MSC. I have been at home (mostly) for the last 12 years with my 4 dc. I am ready to get back into the workplace. I currently volunteer at my children's local primary school and am also the Chair of Governors so I am not naive to the pressures in the education system currently.
I have always considered teaching but my degree is not specific to a curriculum subject (Sports Science and MSc in Exercise Physiology). I am however wondering if I could do an SKE course in biology and also spend a year volunteering at a local secondary school, potentially with the aim of them sponsoring me to do my teacher training in the school the following year.
Has anyone tried anything like this or have any experience of this route into teaching? Is it doable?
Thank you

OP’s posts: |
Fallulah Sat 26-Aug-17 10:34:56

I did it... salaried in secondary. I loved it and the training was brilliant. Lots of people have had negative experiences with School Direct and will tell you not to do the route though. It lives and dies by the quality of training and your mentor - my mentor was brilliant and the course was linked to a good university (school direct and pgce students did exactly the same course). I think I was very lucky.
Not sure how easy it would be to volunteer and then get a school to sponsor you. I applied for a training vacancy the school advertised.
A year as a cover supervisor would definitely help you decide if it's for you!

chocoshopoholic Sat 26-Aug-17 10:46:33

School Direct Salaried places are rare in our alliance, and more so as budgets tighten. Bursaries are currently available for biology teacher training, values are dependent on degree class and I don't believe that 2018 entry onwards has been announced yet.

Each alliance will have its own entry requirements. We require a degree that is 50% related to the curriculum area being applied for, which is topped up with an SKE, the duration of which would be dependent on how much over 50% the degree contains.

Just looking at your degree title, without a module transcript I would be concerned about subject knowledge. Your degree is very specialised, I would be looking at what wider experience you have which relates to the curriculum content , your ALevels, willingness to do SKE etc as part of the assessment process. Remember that it's rare to just teach biology in state schools, chemistry and physics are also taught by the majority of science teachers. You can address a wish to do an SKE or comment on industry experience in your personal statement.

Starting with some school experience is great, it's a very different feeling to primary - I much prefer it!

Providers usually start their open evenings/coffee mornings from October, and it's great to go and see what they think. Early applications mean that you have time for an appropriate length SKE ect.

Good luck!

thedcbrokemybank Sat 26-Aug-17 10:55:17

Thank yo for both your replies. I am definitely willing to do an SKE. My degree and masters cover a significant amount of human biology. All my dc will be in school come September so I am flexible to volunteer my time as much as required. I was hoping that I can learn whilst volunteering and be able to prove myself during this year so that they won't want me to leave!
I am very capable and driven and am also absolutely passionate about education. I am hoping this comes across and that I can be a real asset to the school. I can but try!

OP’s posts: |
Anewcareerforme Sat 26-Aug-17 11:41:30

As fas as understand subject bursaries are only available to those with an actual degree in the subject. According to current figures biology can attract between £10,000 - £15,000 but I think you would have to have a a biology type degree. Have you looked at the Get Into Teaching Website? There are people you can speak to for advise I would definitely do that.
You can do an SKE course in biology and the other sciences, (most people doing one is a lot of work 20-25 hours a week) and if its recommended that you do it by your training provider you can get paid for it (£200 per week). But again I believe you have to have a degree in the subject! Below is the information I was emailed re bursaries and SKE courses. Hope it helps.
Eligible subjects
Minimum degree class needed in order to be eligible for an SKE training bursary.
Design & technology
Primary Maths
I never considered school sponsorship (as I'm eligible for a substantial bursary) but I was told that they are very difficult to get. This of course may be region dependent.
Good luck.

Anewcareerforme Sat 26-Aug-17 11:48:59

With regard to volunteering in schools I'm not sure how easy that would be at secondary level.
I've done quite a lot of "observation days" at secondary I helped the teacher in the lessons so I guess would have been like a volunteer. In one school I actually had to pay the school to allow me to do it and most although keen to help were quite restrictive on what dates they were prepared to have me in classrooms.
I would suggest you attend a few teacher training open days/evenings and talk to training providers and get a feel for whats going on in your area. I found that most of my local schools has information on their websites about these especially next term.

chocoshopoholic Sat 26-Aug-17 13:52:25

Training bursary rates are currently determined by the subject that you wish to teach, not your degree subject, though the classification of this qualification does impact. (see page 8 of the bursary guidance doc - though this may change for future intakes.

ConfessorKahlan Sat 26-Aug-17 15:37:19

I cannot really give advice about bursaries and SKE etc as I a primary teacher. I just wanted to say that I have just qualified through School Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT) which is very similar to School Direct.

I found that the course has prepared me extremely well for taking on my NQT year and I would recommend these types of school based training courses. I was in the class room from day one and by midway through the year, I was teaching my own class nearly full time with support from my mentor. I also felt well prepared for job interviews and secured a job in a different school before I had even finished my training. I am proud to say that at the age of 43 I have now achieved a long-held ambition and I am a qualified teacher with my own class in a week's time! (Also very scared!)

Anewcareerforme Sat 26-Aug-17 16:02:01

chocoshopoholic I have definitely been given the impression by all Ive spoken too (this includes those who Ive spoken to from Get Into Teaching and also those at my SCITT and various other ones), that the size of the bursary award was related to your degree subject and classification. If you look at the link you gave it states the degree subject and the classification and the size of the bursary. If it was purely related to the subject you wish to teach then surely they would not state this and you could have a degree in Sport Science for example and decide you could teach chemistry to get the large bursary.
Just have to say I'm happy to be proven wrong The wording is quite ambiguous and as I have a good degree classification degree in one of the subjects listed maybe thats why Ive misunderstood.

chocoshopoholic Sat 26-Aug-17 16:39:24

Paragraph 2.3 on page 8 gives the example of someone training in a different subject to their degree.

Many providers however would reject many candidates wishing to teach a different subject to their degree on subject knowledge grounds. We would consider it only where there was significant indistry/work experience which drew on this subject at a high level and was supported by A levels /professional qualifications.

I discourage many candidates from applying out of subject at events on subject knowledge / future employability grounds rather than financial eligibility grounds.

thedcbrokemybank Sat 26-Aug-17 19:28:34

Gosh it all seems a bit more complicated than I had hoped. I have a lot of experience but again it is related to the physiology side of things and my educational experience is primary. I'm too old to be a PE teacher and I am more interested is Secondary. My real interest is in strategy and management but I can't see a route into that without going through the teaching route.

OP’s posts: |
thedcbrokemybank Sat 26-Aug-17 19:29:04

Thanks again btw to those who have contributed.

OP’s posts: |
Fallulah Sat 26-Aug-17 19:30:29

Ooh don't do it if your interest lies elsewhere!
We have a school business manager who is on SLT and does a lot of what you said you're interested in.

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