I'm going to be incredibly frank here and ask for your constructive help & advice as I really don't know where else to go and need to get this off my chest - and thanks in advance for reading what is bound to be quite a long post... I have just spoken to the PGCE Admissions Office of one of the best/most popular English PGCE courses in the country, according to all the research I've done. I've been told that the combination of my degrees and experience isn't enough to be considered for the Secondary PGCE course to teach English. I'm feeling a little aggrieved by this and hugely despondent. This is why (in chronological order, just for ease): In 2000, I started my BA in English and Philosophy. Crucially, the interest Philosophy was a direct result of being introduced to the subject by my own A Level English teacher. I achieved a high 2i that could well have been a First if I'd spent a little less time going out - but that's another story, and one I suspect many share In 2004 I completed an MA in something that I'll broadly describe as Philosophy of Art, where my final thesis focused explicitly on the role of Literature in how we acquire knowledge. No, not English per se but - again - it was marrying parts of both because I'd come to appreciate how much they helped illuminate each other [And perhaps I'm hoping to recycle some of this at a later stage - apologies if it's all too highfalutin] Following this, I worked as a Teaching Assistant at a local primary school, which I got because I'd almost consistently volunteered in schools and for programs working with kids since I was 16. I loved that job and was asked if I'd like to stay at the school and train to become a teacher with them then. However, I wasn't convinced that I was old enough, experienced enough or dedicated enough to become a Primary school teacher right then. So I moved to Berlin where I did loads of stuff - but I still kept on working with kids, got my TEFL certificate and taught English to children, teenagers and adults. When I came back to the UK two years later my mind turned to teaching again, but I was still unconvinced I'd be happy as a Primary school teacher, so I set that aside to mull over while I concentrated on a different career (at a University). Then, early last year, I spent a couple of months out of work and got involved with a local volunteer scheme - this time, working with teenagers who had been excluded from their schools. I loved it. Since then, I've been working my (noneducational) 9-to-5 and continued to volunteer at the weekends, until the project lost its funding. I've also been tutoring several students in Years 9 - 11, from a variety of backgrounds, for over a year. This has been through an agency who vetted and interviewed me before I was accepted. I work closely with the schools, SENCOs, social workers and families. I follow stringent reporting procedures, write study plans with clear objectives, read books about becoming a better English teacher, and have had to find out as much as I can about the English curriculum and various GCSE courses. I am aware that I am NOT a teacher and do not have the formal training - but this is what I want to get, this is what I *know* I want to do; there is no doubt like there was with the Primary PGCE. Today I was told that this isn't enough: I am not committed enough to English. I have not worked in a Secondary school. Never mind the reasons behind why I want to do this and what I could actually bring (which I haven't touched on here, but would happily add if anyone wants to know). Aside from the in-school observation that I am aware is necessary and have been planning, my question is: what more can I do to be accepted and seen a good prospect? Two official suggestions I received today were: i) Work as a TA for a year. - It's not really feasible nor even guaranteed that I'd be able to find a job as a TA at a Secondary school, as I would not be able to support myself if the wages are anything like what they were. (Not that this should matter but I don't live the high life, I just don't have parents/partner who could support me - and quite frankly, why should I expect that?!) ii) Take *another* 100% English degree. - really?! At what level? Yours hopefully..