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Is it worth getting a PGCE anymore?

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by ninasimone, Jan 23, 2012.

  1. Hello Folks,
    You know many of the posters on this forum have been getting sick and tired of the nonsense experienced by supply and good honest folk, who simply want to do what they trained for. The threads of late lay testimony to this.
    Now, I became a teacher through a somewhat misty eyed view that I was providing an invaluable service to young people, imparting knowledge and enjoying the buzz teaching gives you.
    Yes, there are some unsavoury aspects of teaching (as in all sectors) but when I trained many moons ago the one profession where I did not think such unprofessionalism would occur is teaching. Call me naive, which I am sure some of you may do, but teaching is the most unique of environments where young and older people mix to acheive a greater end, i.e. success for young people to move on in the world. I trained because I WANTED to teach, not for the money, but because I enjoyed many told me it was a NOBLE profession.
    Now, I see many younger people, e.g TAs/HLTAs and such like who are trying to train up and become teachers themselves. Saddled with debts and coming into a profession that seems to be broken, I do wonder if its WORTH getting a PGCE.
    The jobs dont seem to be there, supply is dying or dead in some cases and schools/agencies appear to prefer cheap labour over experience. Yes, experience does cost and yes we should have younger teachers to replace outgoing/retired professionals but there is simply no balance at present whatsoever.
    Dont be surprised when the kids coming out of schools dont get the education they deserve and if Mr Gove is watching, your government has devalued this wonderful profession to such a degree that I despair of the future and worry massively how newer teachers are going to get jobs.
    Personally, I do wonder if any higher education is worth the reward in terms of salary and standing. So, in short, is a PGCE or any other teaching qualification worth it anymore?????????
     
  2. MrMercedes

    MrMercedes New commenter

    Hmm.. i hope it does prove to be worth it! I have just qualified in primary and there does seem to be some supply around in my area. A number of people from my course have got maternity covers so seems most are doing ok. My course cost me around £3300. If i was to do my PGCE this September it would cost £9000 for a 1 and a half yr PGCE - It is £1800 per term!
     
  3. ***!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is a disgrace. I'm not going to doubt your figures for an instant. It is time that some accurate figures were made available for people embarking on this particular use of time and money. It's all very well wasting time but wasting many thousands of pounds which could be better spent elsewhere is a big moral issue.

    My old college was advertising the fact that 95% of it's students were in full time employment (relating to the education courses). This is clearly total rubbish, noting the actual amount of jobs which have been advertised. This needs to explicitly exclude things like part time burger flipping.


    As far as I can tell, the DFE and the GTC stats are not in agreement and both of them seem to be wide of the apparent people training vs jobs advertised and people chasing job anecdotes.


    If people are to choose to invest £1000's in their future, I would say it is their right for the relevant authorities to give full and accurate disclosure of the statistics.


    However, this might shed some light on a much bigger picture.


    I'd fully go for a PGCE if you know someone on the staff of a school who can "swing it" for you.


    I'd invest several £k in getting a business off the ground
     
  4. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Interesting that you bring up this point.
    We will always need 'fresh blood' in teaching. We benefit from their enthusiasm (not having been switched off by 'constant changes in the goalposts'), they provide new ways of working and thinking.
    But I have to say that whilst I would encourage people to enter teaching, I woud also want them to fully aware of the situation in education at the moment. If they realise the reality and still want to go into teaching, I'd say 'Go for it!'
    However I would caution against looking at it as a life-time career choice these days. I might usggest having some other career/training behind them and envisioning going into teaching for 10-15 years to be able to 'give it of their best' and move out before they become worn down like I see so many teachers these days, but who have no experience in other fields and just 'stagger on' because there are no other alternative. Can I just also add, there <u>are</u> older colleagues, who still get 'the buzz' from the job and do a wonderful job as a result of all their experience.
     
  5. At the moment, I would seriously question whether anyone spending many thousands of pounds on a PGCE had any realistic prospect of recouping their investment through paid work.
     
  6. My younger brother considered doing a PGCE a year or so ago. I laid it on the line in no uncertain terms (as did my mother who's seen the effect the death of QTS storm has had on me) - then produced my final teaching practice files (heavily plural!) to drum in the terror effect... he decided against it very rapidly!
     
  7. lapinrose

    lapinrose Lead commenter

    The rot started with the previous Government.
     
  8. tavypilgrim

    tavypilgrim New commenter

    To anyone thinking about doing any kind of teaching course I would strongly recommend they don't. The odds are probably not in your favour in terms of getting a job afterwards. The reasons for going ahead and doing a PGCE would be that you're either a compulsive gambler, or your Mum/Dad/Husband/Wife is the headteacher at a local school.
     
  9. historygrump

    historygrump Senior commenter Forum guide

    I would not advice anyone to do a pgce at present due to lack of jobs and because with the government reforms you apparently do not need a pgce anymore to teach or apprently evn the basic qualifications. To quote David Milliband when he was a Labour education minister 'I can see the day when every school as a few qualified teachers and the rest are unqualified' the prediction is now becoming the reality.
     
  10. One thing supply gave me was a pretty good take on what the real deal was in a wide range of schools. It was mind blowing how some people managed to still have jobs. Having said, it was also curious why some seemingly good staff were being performance-managed in a high pressure (hope they leave) way.

    Essentially, there is pressure to change as far as cost is concerned and there is plenty of scope for capable staff to replace questionable staff.


    I think that the problem lies with human nature getting in the way of the recruiting process. On one hand it is accepted that "Schools are the best people to recruit their own staff". When it comes down to it, you see some "friends" who really should have been weeded out and some "people who don't fit in" getting "performance managed" out. I have seen this many many times in many different schools. Not so much in challenging schools, or the bigger ones, but across the board.


    This oversupply of staff (many of a very high quality) flies in the face of people who cannot be got rid of failing the students. I wonder whether the unions and the employment law will in fact maintain the status quo.


    After all, this is about getting the best quality teacher in front of the students at the best price


    It has developed into a two speed system. Those on the gravy train and those not on the gravy train. There is no Indian Style sitting on the roof or hanging on to the sides....you are on it or off it. Clearly to anyone, it comes down to loyalty to the **** staff member vs loyalty to the students.


    Do you look after those on the gravytrain at the expense of putting the best teacher in front of the class? What sort of flux do you build into the system? How do you encourage people to challenge themselves, move and maintain a degree of dynamism in the career where people don't stagnate?


    It has gone on like this for years with the also-rans in supply and getting the odd temporary contract. Now everyone has PGCEs and the job flux has 1/6thed, as well as the unqualified-in-house issue, it puts a massive pressure on the status quo.


    You can do what they're doing now and ignore what happens to people who have paid for their qualifications and don't get a seat on the train, but the thing is, this builds up into the issue. "Why can I, with my proven track record and 1st from Oxford as well as a whole host of extra curricular stuff not get a job when Mrs Goggins' uncle is still failing the students, is holding out for his pension and thoroughly resenting every second in the classroom?"


    I'm not holding out for it myself, as I don't believe that anything will happen for a few years yet due to the huge inertia of the system, however the pressure gauge is well in the red and change is overdue.


    The government are in a massive pickle financially (ignoring the ? sideshow) and will most certainly be facing the going bust vs addressing value for money in their services.


    Those on the train are very comfortable and by and large, have little idea of what is happening outside of their comfy carriage. First they came for the supply teachers, but I was not a supply teacher, so I said nothing" etc, etc.


    We shall see. Interesting times where they are either faced with a load of people saying "Hang on, where's MY job that I was promised" or they weed out the dross.


    My money is on the former, as the latter will involve mass group-think and huge union driven (and totally unrealistic per usual) BS.
     
  11. Is it worth getting a PGCE? It must be, according to the TDA advert I spotted in the free papers today. It mentions a &pound;20K training bursary* (*conditions apply) and a "potential" salary of &pound;56K for ASTs.
    What planet are they on?
     
  12. ...yep....more BALLAX
    ...to get to that kind of salary, you would need to have the skin of a Rhino (for all the BS and stress you would have to put with) and the humour of a sewer rat (for all the lies)
    ...indeed, what planet!!!!
     
  13. ...oh yes, just wondered what the "conditions apply" would entail?
    ...my understanding is that bursaries are being phased out or are already history
    ...A PGCE is a wonderful thing because you would feel that teachers are always needed. So in times where one is supplying, jobs would be out there.
    ...not anymore
     
  14. Moony

    Moony Lead commenter

    Well I know my experience of teaching hasn't been what I was expecting. I have naively assumed when training that i'd finish the course and get a job and only move school for promotion or cos i fancied a change. Im in my fifth year and i've spent most of my time on supply, with me it was having to exit my first school to make sure i was able to pass induction else where and have a carrer then the second time i tried working directly for a school my face didn't fit.....which lead to a whole heap of 'fun'. Having read through this thread now fully I can't help but agree with the bulk of what's been said. Gove seems to be out to do a hatchet job on us with his thing of letting heads remove 'underperforming' teachers in a term, I know that's something thats being discussed on opinion but it does add to the negatives of where teaching is going.

    I know I'm fortunate at the moment on supply, I've been getting enough work in to be ok. But I am wanting to get a perm job (and hoping its not a repeat of my last one) as I'll need the money to live and fund my efforts to get my masters finished first and then a PhD. But that's a bit long term and I'm just wondering how the profession is going to change over the next few years. With luck if i can get my (subject based) masters finished and if teaching does go belly up I might have an out. But hey ho.
     
  15. Yes, I wondered about that too. According to the TDA website, the 2012/2013 bursary of &pound;20K will be awarded to physics, maths, chemistry and MFL trainees with First Class degrees. [​IMG]
    Scarily, according to the same table, primary trainees with a 2:2 and secondary "priority subject" trainees with a 2:2 are not eligible for a bursary. Neither are secondary trainees in non-priority subjects.

    I'm not going to try to work out the logic behind this.

     
  16. They continually prove to be wide of the mark. Whoever does the press statements doesn't appear to look at the stats. Very poor reporting indeed.
     
  17. ...advertiser's hey...they should be done for misrepresentation or at least have their balls cut off for purporting that teaching is/still a viable career choice.
    ...the goal posts always seem to change and when people decide to embark upon the PGCE...well, its too late by then as theyve committed to semething for a promise of a future reward.
    ...how do we motivate kids to look ahead when the very same people are being exploited in this manner
     
  18. It is still a viable career choice. But you have to have totally top qualifications, a top record, fresh, brilliant references and in certain smaller schools, or certain areas of the country, possibly have the grapevine working in your favour.

    It used to work quite well for students, but it appears now there just aren't the people moving to greener fields, supply is no longer a way of getting-yourself-seen and so it's down to the application forms, that is, until you get utterly sick of not hearing anything.


    Nothing like a hole in your employment record, or references which aren't fresh to get your form binned. I met a recently ex-head whilst "on tour" who said as much.......


    As Cheech Marin said in Dusk till Dawn, "FUUUUUUUUUUCCCCCKKK IIIIIIITTTTTT!!!!!!!!!"
     
  19. Let's alter that. Let's get out the ones who are jaded, ineffective and everywhere and allow them to be replaced. Let's have some liquidity within the system, rather than this stagnation we observe.

    In the profession, this is the biggest barrier to the success of the children. People who don't want to, can't and are merely holding on for their pension.


    It should only be about the best people giving the best quality education to the students. Value for money. However, it doesn't seem to hold water in the lib dem slanted public sector
     
  20. ...just shows doesnt it that a PGCE was once a highly valued accolade...not anymore
     

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