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Dear James, choosing your school placement during PGCE

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by Janna5, Aug 7, 2011.

  1. Do Universities accept that?
    I know that some of them struggle in finding placements for all of their trainees, especially placements that are not MILES away.
    I'm asking because I've volunteered in a primary school that shares premises with a very good Independent secondary school. This school is 10 minutes away from where I live and is also a schooI I would really love to work in.
    I know that if I ask the primary school Headteacher she will give me excellent references for the Independent as she liked my work and wanted to employ me as a TA.
    So my question is: If I can secure a yes from the independent school, is there a chance that my University will accept to send me there for my last placement?

    Thank you.
     
  2. Do Universities accept that?
    I know that some of them struggle in finding placements for all of their trainees, especially placements that are not MILES away.
    I'm asking because I've volunteered in a primary school that shares premises with a very good Independent secondary school. This school is 10 minutes away from where I live and is also a schooI I would really love to work in.
    I know that if I ask the primary school Headteacher she will give me excellent references for the Independent as she liked my work and wanted to employ me as a TA.
    So my question is: If I can secure a yes from the independent school, is there a chance that my University will accept to send me there for my last placement?

    Thank you.
     
  3. Sillow

    Sillow Senior commenter

    Occasionally a training provider will ask some individuals to find their own placement, but in my experience this had only happened in special circumstances. Training providers have a group of schools they work with regularly, to build up relationships and expectations. Independent schools are not really used as far as I know, as the demands of the curriculum are different and your PGCE should prepare you for teaching in the state-maintained sector. I suppose there is no harm in asking, but I can imagine the uni will allocate you somewhere appropriate themselves.
     
  4. It's possible but unlikely.

    The fact that it's indy is not the barrier - I did my second placement in an Indy and learnt a lot. The problem is that the school won't know the Uni's procedures and things, unless they've been used before. Schools need to be well versed in the Standards, how your Uni want lesson observations to be conducted, the training programme and many other things.

    The school will also need to have a professional tutor and a subject mentor who are willing to mentor you in school. This may not be a problem if they already take trainees from another University.

    There's no harm in asking, however. But I'd ask your tutor at Uni before you approach the school.
     
  5. littlemissraw

    littlemissraw Occasional commenter

    My Uni frowned on you trying to sort your own placements x
     
  6. In general universities will not accept own placements.There need to be partnership agreements, agreements over mentors and training and payments to sort out. In addition the university needs to look at your training an dthe type of school they feel will be good for you while training. Where you end up working is a combination of your choice and the jobs that are availaibek and a smattering of luck.
    Certainly you can ask your university and if they are short of placements they may consider it. If the school is somewhere where you have links, again that may rule it out as a placement. You can do a placement in an independent school but at least one of your schools must be a state school.
    James
     
  7. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    One of our students last year contacted us and asked if she could do her placement with us. We just had to satisfy the university that we could provide the support and mentoring and then she came. We then had 6 more students later in the year, and will have 10 next year so the university are very pleased!

    I would ask if I were you, but maybe ask the school first to make sure it is a possibility.
     
  8. What attracts me is not that it is an independent school (I'm more than happy to train in state schools as the experience is invaluable) its how close it is and when you have children that shifts a lot of weight off the shoulders lol.
    I just wanted to make sure it is not a no no.
    I will try and see how it goes.
    Thank you all.
     
  9. RaymondSoltysek

    RaymondSoltysek New commenter

    An aspect we would be concerned about at our establishment is objectivity. Students who try to arrange their own placement usually do so at school they have a relationship with; former schools, schools they worked in as a TA, etc. How objective can a school be under those circumstances? How difficult would it be for them to fail a student they've built up a close relationship with?
    That's not quite your situation, but you mention a relationship between the school you work at and the school you want to go to. You say you could get an "excellent reference". That immediately prejudices your placement; what if you are an "excellent" volunteer, but not an "excellent" teacher? Will the independent school be inclined to "go easy" on you because an HT they know has given you the thumbs up before you even got in the door?
    Lastly, a huge problem is equity of provision. If one student arranges their own placement in a school that is favourable for them - even for distance's sake - then other students could quite justifiably ask for the same consideration and appeal against their grades if they didn't get it. Basically, they would say, "I failed because I was exhausted by traveling 4 hours a day to the school I had no choice in, while student X got to pick their school half a mile down the road" - and they'd be right to complain. Chaos could ensue.
    I wish you luck, but my establishment would most definitely say no - in fact, we would AVOID sending you to a school that had prior knowledge of you if we could.
     

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