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Can you apply for a PGCE course in primary if you already have QTS in secondary?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by teacher1200, Jan 25, 2016.

  1. teacher1200

    teacher1200 New commenter

    I was just wondering whether it is possible to retrain completely and whether I could apply again for a student loan? I'm imagining this is probably unlikely, but the reason I was thinking about it is that I know that I want to switch to primary, but worry that I will not be able to gain enough knowledge and understanding without being trained properly!
  2. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    You are right to consider this, many just think that it is easy to switch. This is a sensible question, but you are not going to like the answer, I'm afraid.

    Because getting the re-training is not possible. Even without applying for a student loan, you cannot do a second PGCE.


    There used to be short courses - one term I think - run by the DfE (or whatever it called itself in those days) to re-train secondary teachers for primary. that was before the days when there began to be large numbers of unemployed primary teachers, and once the Universities started pumping out cohort after cohort of primary PGCEs, the courses were stopped. Some local colleges may run (paying) courses.

    Here is an article with some information about the move.

    Moving from secondary to primary

    Hope that is helpful.

    Best wishes

  3. Crowbob

    Crowbob Lead commenter

    Where is the rule that you can't do a second PGCE? I find it strange!
  4. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    You are already qualified to teach both Primary and Secondary once you have a PGCE. That's what QTS means.

    Even without a grant you can't do the same course again. Although id you offered to pay full fees personally, they might let you.


    But not on public money.

    Best wishes

  5. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    You don't have to retrain. You have been trained.

    Knowledge? A literate and numerate adult with a degree (of any kind) and GCSEs in English and Maths can teach Primary. Promise. I did it for decades. I ought to know.

    Understanding? Of how kids work? Develop? I did a PGCE (one year) and I don't know if that taught me much. You learn most by getting on and doing it. These days curricula, schemes of work etc are all fairly-well set in stone for you. If you have taught KS3 then you can manage upper KS2.

    You may be a bit out of your depth with some of it. Science? But no more so than many other members of staff. Depends on your existing subject.

    Wanting to do it is most of the battle. The theory is all very well. You should just get stuck in. Do some supply. That'll be your training.

    Cue a whole host of primary teachers telling you that secondary teachers have no clue etc etc. And many don't. Because they're not remotely interested. But you are.

    By the way, why are you keen?
    TEA2111 likes this.
  6. teacha

    teacha Occasional commenter

    I have mentioned before that I switched by doing lots of primary supply, followed by long term roles. Following a successful interview at a primary school last year, when I was chosen over primary trained candidates, I now have a lovely primary school job. Good luck!
    grumpydogwoman likes this.
  7. teacher1200

    teacher1200 New commenter

    Thank you for your support! I want to teach primary for a number of reasons.

    Firstly I would like to teach a range of different subjects. I have found that I really enjoy my year 8 form time in the morning where we discuss different topics as well as complete numeracy and literacy activities a few days a week. I have also surprised myself by finding that I enjoy covering certain lessons- particularly French! I have got As at GCSE in English, Maths, Triple Science and French and also have experience teaching PE as I used to coach netball and worked for a summer at Camp America.

    Secondly I would like to be able to build up a stronger relationship with one class. I currently teach 17 classes (5x year 7, 4 x year 8, 5 x year 9, 1 x year 10, 1 x year 11, 1 x year 12) and find that some do suffer because I have just got too many names and faces to remember!

    Finally I want a new challenge. I teach music in a secondary school and my heart tells me that whilst I love teaching and I love music, I want to be able to offer children more than that. I would like to continue to offer extra-curricular music and teach classroom music as part of the curriculum, but feel that I do not want that to be only role within the school.

    I hope these reasons are good enough! If possible can anybody point me in the direction of some subject specific reading I could do for each of the curriculum topics? Is there anywhere that clearly breaks down the differences from year group to year group?

    Many many thanks!
    Rachelmbx likes this.
  8. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    OMG! You should walk into a job with no trouble!

    Offer choir! And you do sport!

    Crikey, I'd bite your hand off if were HT.

    Why not take a look at the TES resources and schemes of work? That'll give you a real feel for what you'd need to do.

    Start with YR5 and 6 materials. You'll love Primary. Go for it. It'll give you everything you want. Never boring. Lots of new things to learn. Never get bogged down. Do some fun things. Be part of the family.

    If only you could get time off for a few informal visits. You'd be a duck to water, I promise.

    'Resources' here is a good place to start. Also the dedicated forum.
    TEA2111 likes this.
  9. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Yes an applicant here with lots to offer, and as @Teach says, getting a foot in the door, and relevant experience, through supply has been the way there for most people making the move.

    Good luck!
  10. Crowbob

    Crowbob Lead commenter

    So there is no rule that says you can't do another PGCE? Surely, it isn't the same course.
    The awards are different. It would be like saying you can't do more than one BSc.
    The issue about QTS is distinct - I agree that this couldn't be awarded twice but still don't see the rule that says you can't be awarded or study for two PGCEs It may well exist but would appreciate a link as I would be interested to know the origin or basis for the rule.
  11. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    No, I have no link . . . and therefore no proof.

    But I have been an Admissions Tutor for PGCE and B.Ed courses, and the rule was that you could not do another course leading to QTS on public money. Can't imagine things are more generous now!

    Best wishes

  12. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Just Asked a Friend who is currently a PGCE admissions tutor.

    Interesting to hear what he says!

    Best wishes

  13. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    I just can't see why you'd want to. It's all very admirable to want to be on top of your game. But I just don't think it's necessary.

    Given the details in post #7 I'd say a few supply gigs by the OP and s/he'd be ready to rock'n'roll.
  14. Crowbob

    Crowbob Lead commenter

    In fairness, you didn't have the proviso about 'on public money' in your first post on the issue...
  15. john_matthewsg

    john_matthewsg New commenter

    I was told if i do degree that comes with QTS I could not be allowed to go on and do a PGCE. I have not seen evidence of this, it's just what an admissions tutor told me.
  16. Crowbob

    Crowbob Lead commenter

    Thanks. It is interesting. I am not being difficult. Just curious as to whether there is a rule.
  17. ttxes12

    ttxes12 New commenter

    I am secondary trained Science/Chemistry teacher and have got a job as KS2 Science at a boys private Junior school. Its a maternity cover until Christmas so perfect if I decide its not for me. They have actually asked me to teach some Maths and English to year 3. Great experience and I am enjoying so far; hopefully if I like it and do a good job they might make a position for me or at the very least it gives me the primary experience. In fact there is a music job going at the minute. Private message me if you're interested.
  18. teachergrundy5

    teachergrundy5 New commenter

    Hi, I’m reading this information about 2-3 years late but I have a similar query. I have a Primary PGDE from Hong Kong University. I’m a British expat in Hong Kong. The PGDE is to teach English to local primary students although you can get a job in international schools with it here. However, it comes with NO QTS and isn’t recognized in the UK. I’ve been teaching in HK for 17 years. Now in this case, can I do a secondary PGCE in the UK for example? Obviously it’s paid by me. I’m hoping it’s not the same as doing another PGCE as it’s not valid there. Thanks
  19. HolyMahogany

    HolyMahogany Senior commenter

    My wife made the transition from secondary to primary about 10 years ago. She started as a TA in our children's primary school and within a couple of terms the school was employing her as a regular supply teacher. She soon went from covering odd days to doing maternity cover and long term sickness covers. She did have to train her self to do this but found a wealth of resources on line to support this. Within a few years she had a full time permanent post.
    One additional benefit from this route into primary teaching has been that of building her experience of working in all key stages in primary education.
  20. LittleBrownBear

    LittleBrownBear New commenter


    I have made the switch from secondary (ks4 &5) to KS1. You can't do a 2nd PGCE but what I did is join a SCITT course for 7 wks which gave me practical experience in a primary school. I paid £1000 for the course and then got a job straightaway on the back of it.

    I have been teaching 15 yrs. 12 in Secondary. I haven't found it difficult to get work although I did have to go back to main scale. I am 'just a classroom teacher' as TRL's are less common in primary but I absolutely love it.....

    DM me if you want to ask anything.

    HSensei and Mrsmumbles like this.

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