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I'd like to switch from Secondary to Primary...can anyone help?

Discussion in 'Primary' started by abbierhodes, Dec 31, 2011.

  1. I have been teaching English at secondary level now for 8 years and I'd really, really like to try primary teaching. I have a bit of pastoral experience and some curriculum management experience. (all at secondary level obviously)
    I have worked with primary aged children in playschemes, youth clubs and as a learning mentor before I went into teaching.
    I just have absolutely no idea where to start with this. I've been told to just 'apply for jobs and hope for the best' but would a primary head really ever employ me over an experienced primary teacher? I feel that even NQTs would have the advantage as they have been trained for the correct environment.
    I have a family to support, otherwise I'd seriously consider doing a complete new PGCE, but financially I cant afford to retrain from scratch.
    Does anyone have any suggestions?
  2. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Well, you couldn't do a 'complete new PGCE' and yes the big problem is convincing Heads that you are capable of teaching the complete range of curriculum subjectsbetter than all the hundreds of Primary trained teachers competing forany post.
    Now is perhaps not the best time to 'try Primary teaching'. Why do you want to change? Could you consider applying for promotion within Secondary, perhaps moving into pastoral work ay another school? A change is as good as a rest?
  3. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    Do you want the positive, nice answer or the truthful one?
    Actually I can't think of positive and nice, so you'll have to make do with truthful!
    You have almost no hope at all of getting a primary post.

    If you have been teaching for 8 years, I'll assume you are on the upper pay scale, so are relatively expensive. Yet you have no experience at all in primary. Why on earth would a HT appoint you, when they could have someone with a year or two of experience for about ten grand a year less? It doesn't make sense.

    Add to that, are you certain you can teach the entire range of subjects? Maths, Science, ICT, Music, Art, PE (indoor and out) and so on? How would you prove to a prospective HT that you can? Even in English, can you teach a child to read from scratch? Can you teach phonics?

    In theory it is possible, I moved from secondary maths to primary, and you are already qualified, no need to retrain. However I spent about 8 years teaching in a middle school (so had year 5 and 6 experience) and taught subjects other than maths.

    I also spent about 3 years doing supply teaching in primary schools. Supply is sort of a good way in, but you would take a pay cut of about 1/3 to 1/2 depending on how plentiful work is. Some people get no work at all. And it is much, much harder to get a new post when you are a supply teacher.

    Now is a really bad time to think of moving. The difference between the job situation in secondary and primary really shocked me when I moved from middle to primary about 5 years ago. Things are even worse now. There are well over a hundred applicant for most primary classroom teacher posts. No way would an expensive applicant with no experience get a look in. Expensive applicants with 8 years or more of primary experience are finding it nearly impossible.

    I'm really, really sorry not to be more positive. You could read lots of the threads on the jobseekers section to give you some idea of what you are up against.

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