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Deciding between university PGCE and SCITT PGCE

Discussion in 'Thinking of teaching' started by klaranovak, Mar 8, 2018.


Which one would you pick if you were me?

  1. PGCE at the university

    5 vote(s)
  2. SCITT with PGCE at local grammar school

    2 vote(s)
  1. klaranovak

    klaranovak New commenter

    Hello everyone

    Looking for some advice about choosing between a straight PGCE at a university and a PGCE through a SCITT... I have been offered a place on the only local university to us which offers a PGCE, and also a place at an even more local school to do a SCITT which also leads to a PGCE accredited by a different local university.

    The uni PGCE is with a provider that has a good local reputation for training teachers. They would send me on two placements of 14 weeks each to contrasting schools. They could be up to 90 minutes away, but I think that’s worst case. They can’t tell me where I’m going to be placed. Resources are amazing, I really liked the campus and I got on really well with the lead lecturer for my subject.

    The school SCITT was at a girls grammar school which is my educational background. The school was very nice, the student panel I met were also lovely and I liked the department I’d be in, and the texts they currently study for English. However with them, you get into teaching a little bit straightaway, the second placement (at a contrasting school) is only 6 weeks long and you don’t have the theoretical side to start the PGCE off as you are at school from the beginning (with one day at week for the uni side).

    The assessments are the same length overall, but the SCITT has 4 smaller assessments and the uni PGCE does two larger ones (but both the same word limit in total).

    My background is that I’m career changing and I have two young children, so it’s important to me to make this work with having a family. My degree is not in the subject I want to teach but I have got subject knowledge – the SCITT have made it a condition that I do the SKE, the uni haven’t, although I’m checking with the latter if I can still do it as a refresher. My main concern about getting into teaching has always been the behaviour management side and about what to do with students that just don’t want to learn or who are disruptive, as I didn't have much experience of this when I was at school and I wasn't like that myself.

    I’m stumped as to which of these routes to choose. They both have good points but are not directly comparable. I either choose a school I really liked which is local and (possibly don’t get enough experience in behaviour management?), or choose a uni based course which is more theoretical (and as they said, more about best practice and less about the practice at the school I happen to be at), but might involve placements which are further away and more challenging behaviour wise than a girls grammar. I know the PGCE year is tough, I just don’t want to make it tougher by making the wrong decision, but I don't want to jeopardise my future career either! I don't have a burning desire to work in problem schools, I just want to be able to share my love of my subject and help my students to get a qualification they need to progress in life. This may change with more experience in schools of course!

    Any help gratefully received!
  2. uu15926

    uu15926 New commenter

    Teacher training is a full time committent. If you had the choice of a local placement, and can reduce your travelling, I would chose that. I travel about 30mins each way, which is OK. I know other trainees who travel up to 90mins each way, taking 3 hours out of their day; this is brutal, but many do it.

    In my opinion, school-based training is preferable, as it will help get better experience being a teacher, and certainly help with the behavioural management, on which you will get lots of guidance.
  3. Bouncyb22

    Bouncyb22 New commenter

    I am currently doing a School-Direct PGCE which is a little less school centred than SCITT training. While I am really enjoying it and haven't had any problems there are a few people I know that have had issues with their schools during training. Those that were doing PGCEs through the university were able to change schools and the university were able to give them support. However, the friend who is studying through a SCITT has found that unhelpful and sometimes mean members of staff in the school have really ruined her experience. Because she is a SCITT trainee she really doesn't have any contact with her university and so they really can't help her. The benefit of having the university on your side is that if things do go wrong they can act as an impartial buffer between yourself and the school.

    Having said that I am on a school based course that I chose because I wanted to know where I was going to train. I haven't had any problems and my main school has been really supportive. I am currently on my short second placement before going back to my main school which I am looking forward to but I do wish I had longer to really explore the different ways that different schools run their departments. Go with what makes you comfortable and happy and hopefully you'll enjoy it!

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