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Advice on a potentially big move.

Discussion in 'Career clinic' started by willfb89, Jul 21, 2018.

  1. Hi, my name is Will, and I am from London. I am completely new to this.

    I am currently teaching in Phuket, Thailand, and have been for 2 years now. I have taught every level from 4 to 18 year olds. I currently teach Maths, Drama and IT to secondary but have also taught English and Science.

    I have come to a crossroads here and I am exploring my options back in the UK. I want to teach there too obviously. But can anyone tell me whether my experience here would count for anything back home. Or would I have to take a PGCE or another qualification first? I have a BA in Journalism and only a TEFL as an education qualification.

    Thanks for any advice in advance.
  2. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    Hi Will.

    In order to work in a state school in the UK you must be a qualified teacher - that means you'd have to complete a PGCE in the UK. Do you want to teach primary or secondary? If secondary, which subject? Your BA might be a problem if you want to teach secondary, as course providers may not consider your subject knowledge to be adequate. What subjects are your A-levels in? Some course providers can arrange for you to complete an SKE (subject knowledge enhancement) course if you apply for certain subjects, such as maths and science, prior to starting a PGCE course, but if you don't already have an A-level in that subject it's unlikely you'd be successful in an application. If you were to apply for a PGCE in English or drama I don't rate your chances, as they are competitive courses, and you'd be up against people with BAs in those subjects.

    Your experience in Thailand is not really very useful when applying for the PGCE, other than you being able to say in your application/interview that it shows you enjoy working with young people, it has helped you determine you want to teach secondary maths, you have developed an understanding of the curriculum (depending on whether or not the school is British curriculum), etc. PGCE providers are more interested in you having spent time in schools in the UK, so that you can develop an understanding of how schools operate, and the issues facing teachers.

    It is possible for some overseas schools to support you in achieving the iPGCE, but this would not allow you to teach in the UK, as it is not a course that trains you to teach (i.e. it's like the theory part of the PGCE, not the observing/teaching part).

    I would suggest thinking hard about what you want to teach - primary or secondary - and which subject if secondary. Then, do something to enhance your subject knowledge. Also, if you're coming back to the UK you should try and get a TA job in a school, or at least volunteer in schools to get some experience.
    agathamorse likes this.
  3. mothorchid

    mothorchid Star commenter

    @blueskydreaming has given a clear and helpful lot of advice there. I would add that a private school might consider you without any other qualifications. However, that limits your future career progress to such schools, and there could be issues there.
    agathamorse and blueskydreaming like this.
  4. blue451

    blue451 Lead commenter

    Does the UK (England at least) still offer a qualification 'on the job'? Was it called the GTP? It means training entirely in school, and being paid a wage of sorts. It might be an option BUT beware, if it's possible you might want to go abroad again in the future, beware, it's not recognised in all countries.
    agathamorse likes this.
  5. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    Stay in Thailand is my advice.
  6. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    There are limited salaried School Direct places available, but they are competitive. School Direct replaced GTP. There are other routes too; make sure you get QTS with your qualification.
    agathamorse and blue451 like this.
  7. mothorchid

    mothorchid Star commenter

    It occurs to me that whatever you do, you will probably need to start doing it next September, not this one, because places will be filled by now (I imagine) and you seem to be at the beginning of any decison-making process. Similarly with schools - any who would be keen to employ you under these circumstances are likely to be sorted for next academic year.
    This allows you lots of time to reseach and plan more effectively. Good luck!
    agathamorse likes this.
  8. ViolaClef

    ViolaClef Lead commenter

    I am under the impression that it is possible to gain QTS ‘on the job’. I certainly know of people who have gone to independent schools as Gap Year students after their first degree and then stayed on to complete their teacher training, NQT year and beyond. You would need to look into this thoroughly - some courses only qualify you to teach in the independent sector if that is where you ‘trained’. I don’t think that’s a problem, but you need to be aware of your options.

    Also consider your salary and financial situation. Usually teaching abroad brings significantly better conditions and salary. Your school, pupils and the ethos in Thailand may be very, very different from any school in England.

    Maybe observing some lessons in a variety of schools when you are next in England would be a good idea before you make your next move. Don’t burn your boats in Thailand until you have researched thoroughly and feel as sure as possible that you are making a good decision.
    sabrinakat and agathamorse like this.
  9. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    https://getintoteaching.education.gov.uk/explore-my-options . I doubt if your journalism degree will get you into teaching the subjects you mention at secondary level without some more study from you. But perhaps primary may be easier. The private sector is not bound by this, and you might be lucky and find a job, although I have heard of schools which use lack of a formal qualification as an excuse to underpay.
    agathamorse likes this.
  10. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    The reason independents appoint people without QTS is to appoint people such as an ex-England hockey coach to teach hockey. Or a professional artist, who has exhibited at the National Gallery to teach upper school art and so on.

    Independents almost all want teachers with QTS these days, apart from the kind of examples I've given above. Teaching an enormous range of subjects to a huge range of ages doesn't give the impression of specialism in any one area, so even experience is very limited.

    Realistically, unless you have something such as the above examples to offer, you will need to gain QTS if you want to teach in the UK.
    steely1, agathamorse and Piranha like this.

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