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MA as good as a PGCE?

Discussion in 'Professional development' started by PaulMid, Jul 26, 2016.


Should I do a PGCE or just do an MA?

  1. Do the PGCE

  2. Go ahead with the MA

    0 vote(s)
  1. PaulMid

    PaulMid New commenter

    Hi all,

    I'm hoping that people can offer me some advice on career progression. I've been teaching for two years in an independent school and have already worked my way up to Head of Department. I'm really keen to progress further into senior management; however, there's one problem - I don't have a PGCE.

    I recognise the benefits of doing one, but I now feel it would be a bit of a step back and I resent the culture of having to jump through hoops. The response of pupils, parents and colleagues suggest that I'm a good teacher; my exam results also seem to agree. I am, however, considering doing another MA, this time in Education/Education Research (my first being in History, my teaching area).

    Do you think that employers will overlook the absence of a PGCE if i have this? I'm wishing to stay in the independent sector long term, where a PGCE is not essential, but I wasn't sure whether you can have the same level of progression without one.

    Any advice?
  2. Kartoshka

    Kartoshka Established commenter

    A PGCE is by no means essential - lots of people get into and progress in teaching without one (those who did a BEd or Schools Direct/GTP, for example). Do you hold QTS? I think that is important, particularly if you want to move to a different school.
  3. hhhh

    hhhh Star commenter

    I think that some indys would probably prefer you had one (anecdotal). I worked in one decades ago and even then few teachers did not have one.
    Also worked with lots of teachers with MAs-I imagine it's enjoyable to do one, but have to say I don't know that it helped anyone land a job.
    Is there no chance of further promotion in your present school? Or are you just wanting a change either for a a challenge or to suit your personal circumstances (eg moving for family reasons)?
  4. sabrinakat

    sabrinakat Star commenter

    Could you do the Assessment only QTS? You'd be adding to your overall qualifications, etc., then you could do an MA.

    I don't have a PGCE, but hold a number of postgraduate qualifications including a PhD. I've worked at several independents (including at the moment) and would think the lack of a PGCE wouldn't be a real issue as both you and I would be able to show what we have done while teaching.

    The school you are currently working at must have a positive opinion of you as you are HOD. Have you asked a member of your SLT whether you need a PGCE to progress? You might find that they don't.....
  5. PaulMid

    PaulMid New commenter

    Hi all, thank you for the great advice.

    At the moment I do not hold QTS and it was a member of the SLT who advised me to get one; however, once I put forward the MA option, he was not sure whether these would be comparable to future employers.

    I am not looking to move schools at the moment as there are opportunities for progression in my current school and I have been really fortunate so far. However, if these ever dried up then I may want to look elsewhere for senior leadership roles. I think I am just going to look into doing an MA just for 'fun', as I think it could be a worthwhile experience. As far as the Assessment Only QTS goes, it is certainly something I will look into further - I've just noticed that TES offer it in just 12 weeks!
  6. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    In the independent schools I work in and am involved with, an MA would be much more useful for SLT progression than a PGCE. An MA looks good on a school website, especially for senior staff.

    If you weren't already teaching, then a PGCE would definitely be the first thing to do. However, since you can add a whole heap of experience, as well as a fab reference, for any future application a PGCe becomes a mere box tick exercise.

    If you are happy in your school and have opportunities where you are then do the course you'll enjoy more.

    If you ever want to leave the indie sector, then you can do the quick 12 week thing then.
    sabrinakat likes this.

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