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Moving from Secondary to Primary teaching?

Discussion in 'Personal' started by bluezone, May 30, 2011.

  1. Hi,
    I'd really appreciate some advice about the feasability of moving from the Secondary to the Primary sector. I trained as a Secondary English and Drama teacher nearly 15 years ago. I spent the first 5 years of my career working in Secondary schools, then I moved to a job working as an education officer for a charity. I returned to mainstream Secondary teaching for just over 6 months before taking up my current job.
    For the last 5 years I've been working in a non school setting managing an after school study support centre (part of a nationwide Labour government funded scheme) which has worked predominantly with upper KS2 kids. I'm being made redundant - thanks to Mr Gove scrapping our scheme - and have been trying to get a strategic level job within a Primary school as this is where my most recent experience has been, but to no avail. Is it possible or even worthwhile to retrain as a Primary practitioner? I'm currently on UPS + TLR. Are Primary Heads prepared to look at wider experience for their assistant leadership or strategic level staff or am I wasting my time?
    Any advice, thoughts or suggestions gratefully received
  2. Training and where you find your niche don't always tally. You didn't say how old you are as that would affect your choices. If you are young you need to keep a good work life balance-and avoid career burn out-sometimes you have more chance of that a bit lower down the food chain.
    I didn't realise what a gift I had for languages until I lived abroad after graduation-I did ok in my languages at school, but with awful teaching (eg a French teacher with a scottish accent) didn't see any future in it. I actually did Maths, Physics, Geography & Gen Studies at A level. So I never used my language skills for much apart from pursuing my first husband through foreign courts to get child support off him !!
    I did an Early Years (age 3 to 8) PGCE as a mature student 20 years ago. First job in KS1, but due to not being right on the bottom rung on the payscale (which had 12 points on it at that time) found it difficult to get a permanent job (this affected most of the mature students on my course).
    First job was a 1 year contract covering a secondment in Y1/2 class although I also ended up running the school football team. Next year's job was when I was headhunted by my first school's advisor to teach a Y5/6 class the first year that KS2 SATs were completed (covering long term sickness).
    After that, because I had worked with physically disabled adults before I did PGCE, I did loads of supply in different special schools (couldn't apply for permanent full time due to personal reasons).
    Then got a phone call offering a job with a LA SEN support service without applying for anything, and worked there until I moved areas when met my second OH.
    After getting known in the new area doing supply and maternity contracts etc, ended up in an outreach SEN team (as a basic literacy specialist) -and within that team my niche area is Secondary BESD (formerly called EBD ) including the local PRU for permanently excluded pupils-I have a brilliant relationship working one to one with pupils, who all behave immaculately for me-maybe as they see me as an innofensive granny type figure (only a couple of years off collecting my pension)
    What I'm trying to say is just because you have worked in an area doesn't mean that is where you have to stay -you could possibly use your skills doing a couple of part time jobs and make a good living. You could check out the various Adult training, Youth support services,Youth work, Prison teaching, etc -many offer in house training etc. Then there are school suppliers who look for people to demonstrate software to schools in part time etc. Some LEAs have outreach MFL teachers-I know of one retired HT who was teaching German in primary 2 days a week on her old HT pay rate. You could also look at getting some SEN qualifications-there were some free Dyslexia courses for teachers around, although Mr Gove might have stopped these too-if you can get it, SEN 1 allowance for a full time job is about £2,000 a year.
    The hardes part of getting aTLR job in primary schools at the moment is the economic climate; many schools are having to make redundancies of TAs and teachers and many heads are looking to lose teachers at the top end of the pay scale. Most of those teachers have all their experience in that setting and schools are having to get rid of them, so your chances of going straight in with a TLR would be poor.
    Good luck with whatever you decide to do

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