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Dear Charlie

Discussion in 'Thinking of teaching' started by TheGentleman, Aug 24, 2015.

  1. TheGentleman

    TheGentleman Occasional commenter

    I am very interested in becoming a history teacher in the independent sector via the school direct (ideally salaried) route, starting 2016 (I haven't made any applications yet as I am due to speak with the ISC this week).

    Not sure about prep or senior school - where would I be better suited and where would I have the best chance of securing a place - would welcome your thoughts.

    My main concern is not being accepted by a school via school direct as my undergrad degree was in Law (2:1 (Hons) from a good University) and not History. Incidentally, I held a conditional offer at A level from St Andrews to study Medieval History in 1995, but panicked by perceived lack of job prospects for History grads and changed to law at a different University at the 11th hour.

    I am a qualified solicitor (non-practising now). I do have an A in History at A'Level (1994). I have 2 years experience working as a sports coach at a prep school. I have rugby and cricket coaching qualifications (which I would love to utilise at a school who recruited me via school direct). My kids are at prep school so I know how they work.

    I am certain that I could convince (if that was required) recruiting schools that law is intrinsically linked to history/past events and the skill set required in both disciplines is very similar: analytical and critical reasoning, considering and digesting large amounts of evidence, research and argument.

    All all that being said, will my lack of history degree preclude me from following this route? My main concern is not being accepted by a school as my undergrad degree was in Law (2:1 (Hons) from a good University) and not History.

    I would welcome your thoughts/suggestions.


  2. Kartoshka

    Kartoshka Established commenter

    I am not sure that you can train via School Direct in an independent school, can you? Once you have QTS, though, you can go on to work in any type of school, so could train in the state sector and then go on to work in the independent sector.
  3. DYNAMO67

    DYNAMO67 Lead commenter

    I don't think you can do a schools direct training position in a. Independent school? Anyway.

    1) I don't think there will be a great number of salaried positions in a subject like history.

    2) I think even those that are available will go to those with a history degree

    3) I doubt very much that you will get on any training course. All of us history teachers are well qualified in the subject. You aren't . It isn't like maths, there are no shortages of candidates that would open the subject up to non specialists.

    I would speak frankly to schools, and awarding universities to see what they think your chances are. I would look elsewhere.
  4. mandala1

    mandala1 Occasional commenter

    You can do SD in an independent school but you would have to self fund.
  5. TheGentleman

    TheGentleman Occasional commenter

    Ouch. Don't hold back. Will keep you posted on my progress. Your fear of non PGCE teachers joining the profession is palpable and justifiably so. If I were you, I would be worried. The teacher revolution is knocking at your door.
  6. mandala1

    mandala1 Occasional commenter

    Where on earth did you get that message from Dynamo's very sensible and knowledgeable advice?
  7. DYNAMO67

    DYNAMO67 Lead commenter

    Sorry, don't get your reply. Thanks for the support as well mandala!

    My advice was based on being a history teacher and subject mentor. I have also had experienced of two people, one with a law degree, who failed to get on to PGCEs for that reason. I am just being honest with you. Whatever you feel, on paper you are not a subject specialist. You have a history a level. As a head of dept I would probably not interview you even if you had a history pgce, and personally without a curriculum degree I doubt you will get that far.

    Yes, it happens in shortage subjects, but history, whilst not at the levels of art or PE, has sufficient interest from history graduates. I may be wrong. The impending shortage (though not severe in history) may have changed things, but I feel your expectations need to be checked.
  8. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    You're going to need to be far thicker skinned and able to hear what people are actually saying if you're going to survive in teaching. Just because it's not what you want to hear doesn't make it wrong.

    The "teacher revolution" will still favour the best qualified in a saturated market and history is possibly the most saturated. I should know - as an experienced head I've waded through the heaps of applications from history graduates with good degrees and PGCEs each time I've advertised.

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