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Dear Theo - Further Education - applying to teach a subject not officially qualified in?

Discussion in 'Jobseekers' started by Di_1985, Jan 20, 2011.

  1. Dear Theo,
    I have a degree in Marketing and Public Relations therefore completed my PGCE:Teaching in the LifeLong Learning Sector(14+) in a business department of a sixth form college. As I did a degree in the Business School of my University, it seemed natural I would train as a business teacher. My PGCE is not subject specific(nor is it full QTS as I found out halfway through my course but meerly 'QTLS').
    I am not yet employed. I would like to apply for a position teaching an English A Level course, I have a good natural ability with English(since a very young age) and feel that as an NQT even teaching Business is a learning curve for me and therefore diverting to another subject should not present a much greater challenge.Most Further Education A Level courses require a relevant degree.
    So my questions:
    1) Can I draw out my English and Literary experience from completion of my degree and argue how I have continued practising good English skills (i.e. Layout and completion of Dissertation/Public Relations campaigns = creative writing)? I have also worked on a University newspaper writing, completed administration courses prior to university (creating letters for business etc.) and consider myself to have a very natural ability and passion for English, is this what I should focus on or should I focus more on the course specification and how I feel I have experience to deliver it? I do not have any official English qualifications other than GCSEs and an 'English for Business' qualification i gained at college so I want to know the best way to demonstrate my ability to teach the subject. (Sorry I appreciate this is not a clean-cut question)
    2) There is only a very basic Personal Specification that seems quite generic to any subject, how much should I highlight my English experience in my personal statement (as in, I think it could be overkill if I list favourite authors or what materials I have read!?). If it had a more detailed Personal Specification I may have had a better guide for this!
    3) Some of the documents I have been sent include a staff list(why!?), department aims and pastoral organisation. Perhaps this is more important to touch on in my Personal Statement?
    I appreciate these questions are very subject specific, so I shall also consult the English section on here. I have seen my husband gain employment twice in roles where he didn't meet 'Essential' requirements of the vacancy so always feel its worth a try applying! I have applied for several teaching roles, some in subjects other than Business but this is the first time I have had difficulty with my Personal Statement as there is so little Personal Specification to help me demonstrate how I fit what they are looking for.
    Many thanks,
    Dianne (Huge fan of Executive Summary!)
     
  2. Dear Theo,
    I have a degree in Marketing and Public Relations therefore completed my PGCE:Teaching in the LifeLong Learning Sector(14+) in a business department of a sixth form college. As I did a degree in the Business School of my University, it seemed natural I would train as a business teacher. My PGCE is not subject specific(nor is it full QTS as I found out halfway through my course but meerly 'QTLS').
    I am not yet employed. I would like to apply for a position teaching an English A Level course, I have a good natural ability with English(since a very young age) and feel that as an NQT even teaching Business is a learning curve for me and therefore diverting to another subject should not present a much greater challenge.Most Further Education A Level courses require a relevant degree.
    So my questions:
    1) Can I draw out my English and Literary experience from completion of my degree and argue how I have continued practising good English skills (i.e. Layout and completion of Dissertation/Public Relations campaigns = creative writing)? I have also worked on a University newspaper writing, completed administration courses prior to university (creating letters for business etc.) and consider myself to have a very natural ability and passion for English, is this what I should focus on or should I focus more on the course specification and how I feel I have experience to deliver it? I do not have any official English qualifications other than GCSEs and an 'English for Business' qualification i gained at college so I want to know the best way to demonstrate my ability to teach the subject. (Sorry I appreciate this is not a clean-cut question)
    2) There is only a very basic Personal Specification that seems quite generic to any subject, how much should I highlight my English experience in my personal statement (as in, I think it could be overkill if I list favourite authors or what materials I have read!?). If it had a more detailed Personal Specification I may have had a better guide for this!
    3) Some of the documents I have been sent include a staff list(why!?), department aims and pastoral organisation. Perhaps this is more important to touch on in my Personal Statement?
    I appreciate these questions are very subject specific, so I shall also consult the English section on here. I have seen my husband gain employment twice in roles where he didn't meet 'Essential' requirements of the vacancy so always feel its worth a try applying! I have applied for several teaching roles, some in subjects other than Business but this is the first time I have had difficulty with my Personal Statement as there is so little Personal Specification to help me demonstrate how I fit what they are looking for.
    Many thanks,
    Dianne (Huge fan of Executive Summary!)
     
  3. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    Good - the questions are numbered . . . thank you for that.
    Q1 I am going to be blunt. You do not have the qualifications to teach post 16 English on an academic course. You would not be considered by a school or college if you applied.
    And, of course, you are not qualified to teach at a lower level, as your QTLS is not valid for under 16s.
    Q2 having answered Q1, I cannot say anything about Q2, as your English qualification, however much you emphasise it, is not sufficient. Nor will any experience such as you have set out overcome this basic fact.
    Q3 I have no idea why they sent you a staff list! But certainly any relevant experience in pastoral, or in doing things that would help achieve the aims, would be good to include.
    Now some more comment.
    Your husband has been lucky in getting a job where he did not comply with essential criteria.
    But to teach English A-level, you need more than GCSE English and a Business English course.
    You could well be considered suitable for an English communication role, supporting literacy in students of other courses, say vocational courses. English for Business, English as an element on other courses: Accounting, Motor Studies, Hairdressing, Catering, Construction - all the vocational courses. Here your practical skills could be put to good use if you presented them well.
    But not A-level.
    I am sorry to be such a wet blanket, but I cannot imagine that anyone would employ you to teach A-level English when your highest qualification is GCSE.
    Especially when there are so many unemployed NQTs, many of them doubtless with degrees in English, PGCEs in teaching English, and TP in teaching English.
    My advice to you is to spend your time looking for a more appropriate post, rather than devoting any time to applying for this particular post.
    Sorry!
    ____________________________________________________________
    TheoGriff. Member of the TES Careers Advice Service.
    The TES Careers Advice service runs seminars, one-to-one careers and applications advice, one-to-one interview coaching and an application review service.
    I shall be doing Application and Interview one-to-ones, and also contributing to the Job Application Seminars and Weekend Workshops over February half term. We shall be looking at application letters, executive summaries and interviews.
    The next Weekend Workshop on applications is on Sunday 23rd January. Contact advice@tes.co.uk for more details on all of these.
    Look forward to seeing you!

     
  4. Thankyou for the quick response! I appreciate what you are saying, although I feel like I am not trying hard enough if I do not apply for jobs I want(even if I do not think I'm qualified enough!)
    I guess when you put it like that, there will be a lot of English NQTs competing for it, I guess I just secretly hope that with my 'outstanding' observations I can impress them enough at at interview. I will not apply for it, it takes far too long to complete a worthy application so I guess I should limit this to prevent application fatigue ;-)
    I have enquired about doing an MA in English at my local university but they only do MA in creative writing. May look to the Open University. I do really enjoy English as a subject and always did (was my first choice degree course but not accepted).
    Theo, would completing an MA in English help broaden my employability or make me look too much like a Jack of all trades??
    Thanks for your advice
     
  5. Just to add, my qualification is 14+. My PGCE tutors told us that some students gain employment at Secondary Schools but this is at the schools discretion. I know you have said otherwise in other posts. I would like to top up my qualification but I can't find a local university that does it, its a bit of a minefield.
     
  6. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    Are you the same person with a different name?
    A MA in English would be very good - a high-level qualification in English would be very acceptable.
    I am very surprised to read that your tutors told you this. I believe that they are wrong.
    My reading of the regulations is that If you have QTLS not QTS, you may not teach 14 year-old in a state school, only if they are enrolled in a FE College and you teach them there. QTLS is valid for teaching in the Lifelong Learning sector (i.e. in colleges), not in schools. To teach in a state school you need QTS - it is NOT at the discretion of schools.
    Who does the law allow to teach?
    From 1 September 2008 the following people can do 'specified work' (the way that the law describes usual teaching activity) in maintained schools or non-maintained special schools in England:
    • teachers with QTS
    • trainee teachers on mainstream or employment based routes to QTS
    • OTTs who have worked here for less than four years since the first date they did so
    • instructors (as defined in section 7 below)
    • staff employed to assist or support the work of anyone falling within one of the categories above (subject to their having the necessary skills and being supervised and directed by a qualified teacher).
    This quote above is from the Govt site Teachernet.
    I'm afraid that I have further bad news here. Whereas it is possible to top up QTS to gain QTLS too, the opposite is not true. Once you have QTLS you are stuck with it - the only way is to do a whole year PGCE course, but you will get no funding to do it, so will have to pay the whole cost of the course (not just fees), if you can even get a course to accept you. Daft but true.
    http://archive.leadermagazine.co.uk/article.php?id=1547
    But as I said - a MA in English would be a useful thing to have, especially as currently some parts of London and SE have a shortage of English teachers.
    Best wishes
    ____________________________________________________________
    TheoGriff. Member of the TES Careers Advice Service.
    The TES Careers Advice service runs seminars and workshops, one-to-one careers and applications advice, one-to-one interview coaching and an application review service.
    I do Application and Interview one-to-ones, and also contribute to the Job Application Workshops. We look at application letters, executive summaries and interviews.
    The next Workshops I'm doing that still have vacancies are on Sunday 13th and Friday 25th February. There is also a specialist Workshop for applications to SLT on Saturday February 19th.
    Go to https://www.tes.co.uk/article.aspx?storyCode=6060678 for more details of these and other seminars.
    Look forward to seeing you!
     
  7. Hi again Theo,
    Once again thank you for a fast response! Yes I am the same person with a different name, had to sign-up yesterday as I couldn't remember my old username and yet today my computer automatically logs me in with old name!
    Well thats my career down the pan! Thank you so much for that information, it will prevent me wasting time on applications I thought I had a fighting chance of obtaining! Oh dear, how depressing though, there has only been two jobs locally in my field for my subject in the past 12 months. I qualified in May 2010, I've had one interview, this was where I trained coincidentally and I was one of three out of the five interviewees that they 'could have taken on any one of us' and told that they Principal and V.Princiapl had told my ex-mentor to 'get her back in if there is another post'. Came so close but had a brilliant time training there and don't hold it against them that I didn't get that role, I feel they figured that they couldn't risk taking on an NQT when the department had scored 3 in Ofsted inspection lower than the rest of the college - although I'd argue an NQt could bring something new. But still...!
    Ah my old tutors, brillliant weren't they, one told us we could 'top-up' and named a University that he believed ran the course...
    So frustrating, I'm 25 with a young son and husband who works(as a lecturer) so don't want to uproot. I really thought teaching would be a way to make something of myself and help us reach our goals in life, but its such a fight - I'm so willing and ready, like many others I guess!
    It doesn't even seem like anything can improve whilst they continue to make cuts and churn out more NQTs.
    Thanks anyway Theo, at least I've learnt not to waste my time! I will certainly be looking to do an MA if I don't secure a teaching post soon, I cannot spend another year as a jobseeker, I need to be doing something proactive, its a bit embarrassing telling people you trained to be a teacher but don't have a job!
     
  8. Apologies for poor grammarand typos in above post, losing the will ;)
     
  9. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    You're very polite to thank me for such depressing responses . . .
    It looks as though your lecturers aren't really up with all the complicated legislation concerning qualifications, don't blame them too much.
    But the whole point is that you haven't trained as a teacher. You have trained as a FE College lecturer. So you need to be concentrating your searches in that area.
    Do a JobAlert here on the Jobs section so that you get details of every possible job as soon as it comes out.
    Hope it all works out for you.

    ____________________________________________________________
    TheoGriff. Member of the TES Careers Advice Service.
    The TES Careers Advice service runs seminars and workshops, one-to-one careers and applications advice, one-to-one interview coaching and an application review service.
    I do Application and Interview one-to-ones, and also contribute to the Job Application Workshops. We look at application letters, executive summaries and interviews.
    The next Workshops I'm doing that still have vacancies are on Sunday 13th and Friday 25th February. There is also a specialist Workshop for applications to SLT on Saturday February 19th.
    Go to https://www.tes.co.uk/article.aspx?storyCode=6060678 for more details of these and other seminars.
    Look forward to seeing you!
     
  10. Thanks Theo, job alerts are and have been set up for months(but still rare!). Hopefully they will produce something soon, I am not allowing myself to get too downhearted yet, its only been 7 months since I completed training and something has to come up eventually.
    I'm grateful because I know exactly where I stand now and the edges are no longer blurred for me, I know my place! I can act to improve my prospects sooner rather than later. I truly thought training for FE would be more beneficial, unfortunately my local GTP is already full for 2011-2012 but I will certainly bare it in mind when the 2012-2013 applications open although I hope this is not necessary as I just want to get on with a role now!
    Thanks for everything.
     

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