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Dear James PGCE PASS degree

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by Gemini_10, May 18, 2010.

  1. I have applied to two SCITT providers to start a Early Years PGCE in Sept 2010, but unfortunately, I was unsuccessful in both interviews. I also applied to a couple of other SCITT providers but was turned down before interview.

    For the last interview, the feedback that I got was that I achieved an overall 64% but I needed 68% to get on to the course. I actually scored 77% on my interview but my presentation let me down because it was too wordy (in hindsight, I would have to agree). However the fact that I only achieved a PASS in my degree when I graduated in 2003 had already set me back.

    I'm gutted that I haven’t got a place but am extremely concerned about what the Conservatives Policy (all new teachers must have at least a 2:2 to get on to a state funded PGCE course) will mean for me. I accept that all PGCE providers have a right to be concerned about a third/PASS but I don't think that they should exclude me on that basis. I have a lot to offer and I think I would be brilliant as a Teacher. I'm very committed, focused, hard working, motivated and organised. These are all the qualities that I lacked when I was younger (especially organisational skills). I'm very aware of the difficulties faced by PGCE students and Teachers; I've been browsing this forum for months and I have spoken to a few Teachers and PGCE students, but I know that I have what it takes to be a good Teacher. My degree does not take away my ability to enthuse young children.

    For the last 6 months I have been volunteering as a TA whilst completing my NVQ level 3. I know that this is definitely the right career path for me but I'm so frustrated that the Tories are going to prevent me from realising my ambition.<font size="2"> </font>

    Aside from doing a whole new degree, I was hoping for some advice on what steps I can take (if any) to make up for the PASS? Is it possible to top up my degree to an honours degree via Open University? Would it help if I studied 1/3 of a masters online (whilst working)?<font size="2"> </font>Apologies for the rambling post but I'm not ready to give up because of my past mistakes!!
     
  2. Hi
    We have yet to see what the coalition government policy on entry to ITT will be. The liberal democrats had no policy about the minimum entry requirement but as you note the conservatives do. I suspect that this was not a big point in the coalition discussions.
    If you read the conservative manifesto it does talk about a minimum 2:2 degree for entry to the PGCE, but, qand here is the crucial point, the manifesto statement is as follows:
    <font size="2" face="TimesNewRomanPSMT">
    </font>




     
  3. welshwizard

    welshwizard Established commenter Forum guide

    Given the competition for places you should consider improving your qualifications perhaps through OU modules. A number of local candidates have done this and combined them with TA work. NVQ is fine but the ITT providers will be increasingly interested in the more " academic/intellectual" aspects of study.
     
  4. Hi,
    I just wanted to reply to you to give you some hope! I graduated in 2001 with a pass degree and I have got a place for a Primary PGCE at my first choice for September 2010.
    I had some medical issues which undoubtedly affected my performance at degree level but even without proof of these, I still think there are several steps you can take to maximise your application.
    Firstly, I went along to the open day which my Uni were holding and made sure that I followed this up with a personal email to the admissions tutor. I detailed my issues and emphasised the experience I have had since and my great enthuasiam for teaching and further study. The admissions tutor was really helpful and said she would look out for my application so that I was not automatically rejected at the shortlisting stage.
    I had to send off an academic refernce request to my old uni, which I was dreading, due to not thinking they would remember me/have a great deal of positive things to say. However along with the form I wrote a letter to my old personal tutor outlining the changes I had made since my days there and explaining what I had been doing since I left. I also wrote that whilst I was by no means a model student I did feel that I had shown some signs of promise during my studies, in particular certain modules, placements etc.I have no idea what they wrote but it can't of been too bad as I got a place!
    In short, my communication with both prospective and old unis plus a good personal statement reflecting on past concerns and highlighting ways I had improved in these areas gave me, I believe, a foot in the door.
    Like you I was determined that my past failings would not prevent me from doing a job which I knew I could do. I truly believe that my enthuasiam in the face of such competition was what secured my place. I also believe that having under represented myself academically in the past I have a real vigour for the course, however difficult it may be!
    Sorry for the ramble, just want you to know that whilst of course the PGCE is v competitive some Unis at least can see the wider picture and recognise the potential in you, especially given your personal growth and professional development (plus good references etc).
    All the best and remember there most definately is life post pass degrees!
    Some posters on here will almost delight in pointing out how many people are applying and how tough it is to get a place etc. Whilst they may believe this to be a realistic view (and to a certain degree it is) there are other qualities which make a great teacher (the ability to reflect, experience in schools, enthuasiam/passion....). I saw several people at my interviews who undoutedly had the holy grail of a 2:1 degree but were lacking in their interpersonal skills and were not very discreet about the fact that redundancy/lack of certainty about the job market were their driving forces!
    Oops, rambled again, apologies! Go for it!!
    Pippa
    x
     
  5. Why not go for a masters level course via the OU while doing the ta stuff? Then you get a second bite at the cherry to show off your academic skills, and it makes the pass at BA irrelevent at the interview stage. When I applied for a scitt place with an MA in education I also pointed out that I already had the academics so I did not need to dwell on theory and was aching to get my hands grubby in the classroom.
    I should not blame the tories- after all law is a practical subject but i would not want a barrister with a pass degree representing me (even if he can talk the legs off a donkey). Qualifications matter- especially when you are in the business of effectively getting people though them.
    I can tell from your energy and enthusiasm you'd be a great teacher. Good luck!!
     
  6. Whilst Bricklane is absolutely right about looking into the possibility of studying at Masters level via the OU, I'm afraid her/his anaology of a pass degree lawyer and pass degree teacher makes zero sense in real terms.
    I, for example, am a 'pass degree teacher', however I also was a straight A student whose performance at University was a blip in an otherwise strong academic and professional career.
    I have undertaken post degree study (not to masters level - but level 4) and am a qualified FE teacher with 5 years of very successful practice behind me.
    With law, the inability to pass with honours surely reflects an insufficient understanding/application of relevant practical content and substance. Who would want a lawyer representing them who had failed the tort law module 3 times and scraped through on their final attempt.
    It seems a very strange leap to make from that to a pass degree teacher! I fail to see how scraping through an anatomy or geography exam detracts from the qualities needed to be an engaging, interesting and effective teacher.
    Im sorry Bricklane that you are bearing the brunt of my moan, but comments such as yours are really quite typical of some of the superior, worthy and quite frankly, pompous opinions which appear on these boards.
    Qualifications most certainly do matter, on that we are agreed, particulary in terms of securing a place on a PGCE course. However, I would assert, from my experience that what makes a truly successful teacher is most definatley not the grade of their degree but all the other personal characteristics already mentioned. To think otherwise speaks volumes!
     
  7. I would agree and suggest the same is true of lawyers too- the best lawyers are not all oxbridge straight a students either. I was just making the point that if I am paying money and need to guarantee an end outcome (including a learning outcome) i would feel more comfortable with someone who has the right paperwork behind them, as well as the skills. Pompous? probably. Depressing? Possibly. But I would suggest the fact many teachers post similar opinions suggests that the weight of professional and popular opinion would supportthe desire for high standards. I would not want a doctor to treat me who had just scraped through college, even allowing for personal issues etc. Why should education be different?
     
  8. Bricklane,
    I think, once again, you are confusing the subject knowledge necessary to be a good doctor or lawyer with the qualities needed to be a good teacher.
    At the risk of repeating myself, both doctors and lawyers (and surveyors,accountants...etc) need to have a very sound specific knowledge of their subject in order to be productive and competant in their roles. I too would not be thrilled being operated on by a second rate surgeon who had struggled with their anatomical knowledge or practical assignmentments, who would?!
    My point though, is that teaching is a profession which requires it's member to go way above and beyond mere academic knowledge. I can't believe that you would consider a teacher's value to be based soley upon their degree certification.
    The best teachers I have known have not only been academically capable but also excellent communicators, flexible in thought and engaging. The placements/observations undertaken on the PGCE/NQT year are surely a way of assessing those who can and those who can't.
    There are some aspects of being a teacher which can simply not be taught or studied but are innate within an individual.
    In short, I do not believe that the teacher's who fail to inspire children or provide high level education and learning opportunities for their classes, are those with the weaker academic backgrounds. They are, instead, the individuals who lack experience, confidence, enthuasiam and a passion for providing quality education for those in their charge. I speak from experience as a student and as a teacher.
    Having done both a degree and a Masters it's clear that you feel qualifications to be exceptionally important. I didn't feel the need to spend the time and money to gain extra letters after my name. According to 2 OFSTED inspectors, plus numerous internal observations (and, most importantly, from my students progess and proven learning outcomes) it neither affected my teaching nor my ability to provide the 'high standards' of education I, like you, consider to be essential!
    And as an aside, I do not feel that the personal tragegy I endured which prevented me from sitting my final exams should, or did, affect my professional capabilites, though thank you for the assumption that they did!!

     
  9. I think the problem is you are trying to go into Primary education where you face fierce competetion. Also when you are going to apply for jobs, you are up against hundreds of people with better qualifications on paper. Getting pass the priliminary round of short listing will be extremely difficult. Even if you get to the interview, it will be mentioned and you will have to convince the school again.
    I am not saying is impossible but it will be difficult.
    Also I agree completely with pippa77, some people are just born to teach and posses some attributes, which can't be taught at school, university or through PGCE course.
     
  10. I did not mean to give you that impression- and I do not wish you to think I am criticising your ability to teach. In most professions/ vocations the key skills are often unteachable. Leadership or a steady nerve are clear cases in point. But to be honest, I have not met an "unacademic teacher" but I have met many teachers who, for whatever reason, did not have the paperwork to get the position they deserve in the modern employment climate. Even a delay on a crb check cost my collegue a job. I agree that the key values you need to teach, of tolerance, judgment, compassion, vision and the patience and wisdom to do the right thing on a difficult day- there is no paperwork to prove you have those qualities. But you will be lucky to get a chance to prove that you can do that, as a young professional entering the market today unless you can get through the paper sift to the interview.


     
  11. Thank you for the responses. I do feel much better about my situation, I'm hoping that the rejection this year will be a blessing in disgise!! The more I think about it, I am keen on doing an online Postgraduate Diploma whilst working as a TA. If I actually did get on to a PGCE course this year, I would probably still be worrying about having to explain my degree in job interviews whereas the postgraduate course should overwrite that.

    Thanks again, I appreciate the responses![​IMG]
     
  12. I graduated in 1999 and also gained a pass (health reasons). However, I was accepted onto a PGCE course last year, have got a teaching post for September (I was offered another but turned it down) and have completed my assignments at masters level. There are people on my course that have better degrees but do not have the passion for teaching, or the commitment!
     
  13. hi guys

    i am in a similar situation, pass degree.

    its is a 5yr part time course for honours
    i only completed 4yrs, and by default the best result i could achieve was a pass
    my subject results were all 60-70 usually!

    could you tell me that university accepted you? i could consider an application there?

    many thanks for your help

    all the best!
    tamara

    tamara.lanaquera@gmail.com
     
  14. hi pippa

    i am in a similar situation, pass degree.

    its is a 5yr part time course for honours
    i only completed 4yrs, and by default the best result i could achieve was a pass
    my subject results were all 60-70 usually!

    could you tell me that university accepted you? i could consider an application there?

    many thanks for your help

    all the best!
    tamara

    tamara.lanaquera@gmail.com
     
  15. Hi
    I'm afraid that it is not almost certain that you would not get into a PGCE training or GTP programme with a pass degree. The government will be bringing in legislation to exclude from government funding anyone who has less than a 2:2 degree. So a third class honours or pass degree would not be considered by providers for teacher training. We have yet to see the detail (e.g. whether someone with a pass degree with strong mitigating circumstances or someone with a pass degree but who went on to get a masters or PhD would still be allowed (for the latter it would be insane to bar someone with a masters degree or PhD but only a pass degree from teaching in my opinion).
    At present the only advice I can give is to gain experience, study for a masters degree within your subject area and apply after obtaining this.
    James
     
  16. Thanks James
    Even if you would consider funding yourself?
    My degree is in primary school teaching using the montessori method, so i was thinking this may be of benefit if applying (as opposed to a degree in unrelated topics).
    Thanks for your advice
    tamara
     
  17. Self funding may well be possible, but expensive. The Government has said that it will not provide funding for anyone with less than a 2:2 degree, so as well as the PGCE fees (which may well be &pound;9K) there would also be the funding that the government normally provides to providers to pay for things like payments to schools for taking trainees etc. in some subjects that could be another &pound;10K. It will be very difficult - also no bursary for the trainee.
    Until we get more detail from the government we just don't know what, if any, discretion we may/may not have. In some subjects where there is an oversupply, e.g. primary, a lack of a 2:2 would be instant reasons for rejection with no consideration of extenuating circumstances.
    James
     

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