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How to make a decision about which Schools Direct placement to accept?

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by mariet4, Jun 17, 2015.

  1. mariet4

    mariet4 New commenter

    I've been lucky enough to receive two offers for the Schools Direct training programme. I'm finding it hard to choose between them so I thought I would ask those of you who are a bit further down the line what you think. Specifically I'd like to know what you would place the most value on (support, location etc).

    About me: I'm 36 with three children (6,4 and 2 yrs old). I currently work 4 days a week in London (my commute is over an hour and a half each way - so I'm used to long hours and hard work).

    Offer 1 is primary- general in an Outer London borough. They haven't made the school allocations yet so I don't know where I would be placed but my journey time to school is likely to be between 30 minutes and an hour.

    Offer 2 is Primary with mathematics in Kent. I know which three schools I might be allocated to so there is a bit more certainty about my placement and the journey time ranges from 40 minutes to an hour. This programme has not been running as long and there is a smaller group of trainees.

    I am really keen to specialise in maths (although I would be teaching all subjects at primary level) but would I be wise to accept the other offer if they have been running longer and have a larger pool of trainees?

    Thanks for listening!

  2. John_in_Luton

    John_in_Luton Occasional commenter

    Which teacher training provider is underwriting the programme, how well established are they, and how much of the input are they responsible for? The key area to look into is the quality of the training, and that's not the same as just bunging someone into a classroom to soak it up for themselves (though Mr Gove seemed to believe it was when he created SD).
  3. welshwizard

    welshwizard Established commenter Forum guide

    You are interested in Maths the SD training in Kent is established so really does seem a no brainer!

    One consideration is whether the SD programme includes a PGCE or Masters Units as part of the programme. QTS in itself is OK but there may be future issues with acceptance of your training particularly if you were looking overseas. Some countries ( including Scotland) do not accept just QTS as a suitable entry qualification for teachers. In addition there may be a move to increase the qualification level to Masters and many existing PGCE programmes already contain Masters elements.
  4. I'm just concluding my SD year having come in a bit older than you. Teaching is brilliant but the year has been majorly hard work and tons of work at home. Way more demanding that I expected. I'd echo what someone below said - good to know more about i) the quality of the training provider but also ii) what they are like in terms of organisation. Are they good to work with or disorganised? Mine just pumped out so much stuff at the students we didn't know if we were coming or going, nor what was obligatory or optional. Can they put you in touch with a current student to get a view direct? My other thought - will the school be single form entry or multiple form entry. Mine was the former but this made the work a lot harder - fewer people to bounce things off, whereas in a multiple form entry school there is someone else - one or more people - teaching alongside you and you can share planning, preparation and other parts of the load. Makes a huge difference and with three young ones at home you'll want some time for them too.
  5. Kartoshka

    Kartoshka Established commenter

    On the information you've given, I would go with the Kent programme. A specialism will make you stand out from other teachers, especially as an NQT when you'll all have similar levels of experience. That the other course has been running for longer doesn't necessarily make it any better. And a larger pool of trainees will make very little difference to you, I'd have thought. Good luck in September, whichever you choose!

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