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Dear James PGCE Advice

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by stephiejen, Aug 27, 2011.

  1. Dear James,

    I have seen your fantastic advice on the forum and therefore decided to write here.

    I was hoping you could shed some light with my PGCE situation. I have been in under immense pressure by my parents throughout this course and combined with the loss of both my grandparents this January, it has been very difficult for me. I have failed both my assignments but was able to resubmit this summer to be recommended for QTS. I have passed all my skills test and school placements and was told that my teaching is good with aspects of outstanding. I also have met all the standards and have been signed off by my tutor. My tutor said not to worry as I’m not the only person who is or has been in this position. She said that it is not in their intention to fail good practitioners.

    I have read the PGCE regulations for Goldsmiths University, however I do not entirely understand if I can be awarded QTS without passing the assignment aspects of the course. This is what is stated on the PGCE Regulations:

    - In order to be awarded the Certificate a student must satisfy the relevant Board of Examiners in all parts of the examination, including the standards specified by the TDA (or successor body) for the award of Qualified Teacher Status.
    - Every candidate seeking the award of Qualified Teacher Status must provide evidence of satisfactory completion of the Skills Tests organized by the TDA (or successor body) by an agreed date prior to the meeting of the appropriate PGCE Sub-Board in addition to all of the above.

    I submitted my assignments this Thursday and therefore will not be hearing from my university for at least a week and I've also emailed my tutors but they are all on annual leave and are not back until 5th September 2011 which is when school starts. I am due to start my NQT post on 5th September and before I accepted this job I asked my tutors if there will be a problem with my job for September and she advised me to accept and that it will be fine as long as I explain to the school that my QTS will be slightly delayed, which was also advised by my other tutors in numerous occasions, however none of them would want to confirm this officially. I have already worked for the school for a week in July to meet my class and I am all set up in the school’s system. It is definitely my dream job. I have started to panic as 5th September is approaching fast and I still have not got an idea if I have been recommended for QTS, but only have the unofficial words of my tutors that there shouldn’t be a problem in proceeding with the post.

    Could you please advise what steps I could make next or shall I carry on with the post as normal as advised by my tutors?

    Thank you.
  2. Sillow

    Sillow Senior commenter

    I'm sure James will reply soon, but I thought it worth you reading this thread with regards to what to tell your school in this situation. It sounds as though, as your mentor said to accept the job, that QTS is coming at some point. Do tell your school, though, as suggested in the other thread, and get in touch with your university asap.
    Do try not to worry until you've spoken to people (hard, I know). Take your mind off it if you can by filling the last week of your holiday with interesting things (and get some sleep if you can!). Good luck and let us know how it all turns out. [​IMG]
  3. Hi Sillow. Thank you for your message. I have already told the head regarding this matter and she said it will be fine as long as the university confirms the situation (university is willing to produce a letter confirming the situation). I informed the school I accepted the job. I have also tried to get in touch with my university, however as mentioned on my previous message, no one is around in the department, as everyone is on annual leave and are not back till 5th September, which is when my post starts.

    I have spoken to some of my friends who attended the PGCE with me and none of them have received their QTS certificate. I guess the best thing to do is just go for the post as advised by my tutors, but of course it's a bit difficult not to think about the situation that has not been clarified properly by my tutors.

    Thank you for your message again! :)
  4. And also, no one seem to be able to confirm what happens if my resubmission was not successful (e.g. both or one of the assignment failed). Not sure if I can qualify for QTS if I haven't passed the assignment aspect of the PGCE. I was told that the assignment aspect is separate from being recommended for QTS but the PGCE Assessment regulation is not clear about it. All I was told is to accept the job by main tutor and there that wouldn't be a problem, surely I should just go ahead with the post as normal? This is driving me crazy! If only one of my university tutors were around to clarify this! My friends have told me that there shouldn't be a problem too as I've passed all aspects to be recommended for QTS, but it's easier said than done! :(
  5. Anyone else can advise please? I'd be really gratefull. Thank you.
  6. Hi
    Sorry for not getting back sooner, been away over the bank holiday, but back in the sadlle now!
    I agree this is not crystal clear, it 'could' mean that you only have to satisfy the professional parts of the course i.e. the skills tests as well as passing the practical teaching parts which means meeting the standards, but as the wording states 'all parts of the examination' then this may also include the written assignments.
    From what your tutors have advised, it seems that QTS is dependent on the assignments passing. If they have stated that you should accept the job then they clearly do not think that this should be an issue (passing the assignments). The delay in gaining QTS could affect your pay in that until you get the QTS certificate then you are technically an unqualified teacher and should be paid on the unqualified scale, but there is overlap between the two so a person could be paid on the unqualified scale, then, once qualified, move to a similar point on the qualified scale with little to no difference in pay. The tutors cannot 'officially' confirm this as only the exam board can make such official statements.
    The work you did in July would be as an unqualified teacher and as such is not an issue. Keep in contact with your university between now and the 5th September, make sure that things are being progressed as fast as possible. You are not alone in this situation and others will have loose ends that need to be sorted for their full registration to come into effect with the TDA. Legally a school could terminate your contract, but in this instance would be very unlikely to do so, especially given the aassurances of your tutors, there will always be a short period of 'grace' operated by schools and LAs over sorting out technicalities - you just need to make sure that things are happening and that your provider understands the urgency of getting the assignments graded and the recommendation sent to the GTC.

  7. Hi James, Thank you for your response. I have spoken to one of my tutors and have advised me that the board meeting is not until week beginning 12th September. But I was advised by her to go for the job and remind the head teacher of my situation and that a letter from the university confirming my situation will be sent when the administrator is back from annual leave. I informed my head teacher of this situation before I signed the contract. My tutor also said that I will not get NQT status until I pass both assignment aspects but she did also say all will be decided during the board meeting, where they will hear the circumstances contributing to the situation. I'm starting work on 5th September and the board meeting is not until week beginning of 12th September, but my tutor said that there shouldn't be a problem with starting work, not quite sure how this could be if awarding NQT status depended on assignments passing. Surely, they will have asked me to terminate my contract with the school now if it would be a problem or at least would have told me not to accept the job beforehand?

    I'm not worried about the pay difference, i just want to make sure I can start teaching this september as I am in under immense pressure from my parents, and only way for things to be sorted out is for me to move out. My tutors are aware of my current situation and they did say that they will take this into account on the board meeting. My last placement outcome wasn't also included in my transcripts as the day they had the July Board Meeting was the day I had my last observation and end of progress meeting (I had to do 2 extra weeks of placement as I missed 2 weeks from my first placement due to my grandparents funeral).

    I guess all I can do now is hope for the best, go to work next week and remind the head teacher of the situation again and inform them that a letter will be sent from the administrator about the situation or they can contact the university if they wish. But it's just worrying as the advice given is quite contradicting: "NQT status will only be given if both assignments are passed" but "there shouldnt be any problems in starting work as long as I let the school know of the situation (even if there is a possibility of failed assignment/s).

    From your professional experience, do you think that it will be right for me to say that I can start my post on monday and wait for the board meeting outcome as advised by my tutors?

    Thank You.

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