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Can I train in a new subject?

Discussion in 'Career clinic' started by Wiltshire_artist, Jan 19, 2016.

  1. Wiltshire_artist

    Wiltshire_artist New commenter

    Hi, I hope you may be able to help as I cant find anything on google. I have a PGCE in Secondary Art and Design. I have also completed my NQT induction. I have 2 years full time experience having completed 2 1 year maternity posts at 2 different schools. I am desperate to find a permanent role as my husband cannot work full time, I want to get a mortgage in the next couple of years and most importantly I really want to work in a role where I can invest myself in the school without worrying about where my next job will be. I am currently supply teaching.

    My issue is that there are very few/no roles within a commutable distance from my home. I was thinking that maybe if I could train in another subject (I was thinking maybe English as I have an A grade A level in Eng Lang and quite enjoy covering it in supply) there would be more roles open to me. However I can only find info on becoming a teacher online. Is what Im thinking even possible?

  2. PaulDG

    PaulDG Occasional commenter

    You can't 'train' in a new subject as your teacher status isn't subject based; you, like me and all other teachers are 'qualified' to teach everything.

    You just need to persuade a prospective employer that you are a good choice to trach something else. Experience of teaching it, via supply, would be a pretty good start.
  3. splinters

    splinters Established commenter

    Very true, i have taught DT for 22 years but have a background in ICT, Music and Art. I love films and videogames and for the last few weeks I have been teaching Media Studies up to A Level on a 4 week supply role. It didnt take long to digest the syllabus contents and what is required and my love and knowledge of different media meant it was relatively painless to deliver the subject.
    What is surprising is how much more enjoyable it is than my specialist subject.
    So, keep an open mind when on supply as you never know what subject area you might move in to.
  4. DYNAMO67

    DYNAMO67 Lead commenter

    Depends on the level of competition. If you live in a big city for example London, and are applying for schools that are 'less popular' you may have a chance. If you are in leafy suburbia where the school doesn't struggle to get applicants, then you may not be considered.
  5. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Hullo there Wiltshire Artist, and welcome to our forum.

    I'm afraid that everything the others have said is correct .

    There is no opportunity to re-train as your QTS is not subject-based. And as for getting a job in another subject, you will probably find it very hard to unless you have a French or Physics A-level at a good grade, and are in an area where there is a shortage. Which is most areas, actually.

    However, if there is a shortage of English teachers in your area, and you have experience teaching English on Supply, you might just be considered. Especially in a school which is 11-16, so no A-level to worry about. To go down this route you would need to get as much English supply as possible before applying. But don't hold out too many hopes.

    Changing to Primary is also difficult, although possible:

    Moving from secondary to primary

    Best wishes

  6. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    Willingness to do a split timetable of Art and English might possibly be an asset - it gives the school flexibility in timetabling. But, sadly, you are unlikely to get an interview for English if there are sufficient decent applications from people trained in the subject. Still, there is no harm in trying, emphasising your English experience on supply, and good luck.
  7. Wiltshire_artist

    Wiltshire_artist New commenter

    Thanks everyone for your replies. Does anybody know of any good places to access means of buffing up on subject knowledge? I dont feel like I have nearly enough experience yet from the day to day supply I am currently on and feel in a bit of a limbo, I cant help feeling a little disheartened seeing the latest DfE advert when Im sat here unable to find a post despite being qualified and ready to go.
  8. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Why don't you contact the Return to Teaching people and see if they could help out?

    Strictly speaking you are not returning to teach English, but you never know! @Wiltshire_artist .

    Best wishes

  9. DYNAMO67

    DYNAMO67 Lead commenter

    The reality is that these adverts aren't aimed at art and design teachers... I always say, if you are geographically limited; and in Wiltshire you are; think carefully before training.
  10. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    But the Return to Teaching does mention returning to teach . . . English,

    And there is also the TES Institute Courses - see the menu line at the top of this page. Many are for primary, but a general course would be THIS

    That should be a plus on an application.

    Best wishes
  11. james_sully

    james_sully New commenter

    Have you considered an OU degree. By even starting or completing some modules it shows you have a willingness to learn.

    There are plenty of non-mathematicians teaching maths and most of them make excellent teachers. Remember, now it is compulsory to study maths and English at FE unless a C is achieved there is even greater demand for teachers of those subjects. I always think the challenge in teaching GCSE maths isn't the subject knowledge, but general teaching skills

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