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PCET PGCE - does it allow me to teach at secondary level too?

Discussion in 'Further Education' started by CharlotteLC89, Feb 22, 2012.

  1. Hi,
    I have recently been accepted onto a PCET PGCE to train to teach English. This course will begin in September this year. I am really looking forward to beginning the course and this is definitely the career path I wish to follow. However, I am looking for some advice...
    I have a 1st class degree in English, and am currently working towards an MA in Colonial & Postcolonial Literature. I do work experience in a local college once a week and have been building up my experience in FE since September 2011. I have previous experience of English mentoring in HE also.
    Recently, friends of mine who began their secondary PGCE's in September 2011 have been beginning the job application process and one of them has done really well to secure a job for this coming September. However, this job is to teach both GCSE and A Level, despite having no experience of teaching the latter.
    I have been informed that I will not be able to teach GCSE level and will be restricted to FE when I complete my training. Is this true - or is it possible to switch between sectors? Surely, if an NQT trained in secondary education can teach A Level, it can work the other way around as well?
    Teachers whom supervise me on my weekly work experience continue to tell me there are no jobs in the FE sector at the moment. I have contacted the Programme Leader of my PCET PGCE and questioned her about this - to put my mind at rest and reassure myself that jobs will be available to me when I complete my PCET PGCE.
    Can anyone give me any further advice/insight into the FE job market or being able to teach GCSE and A Level?
    Any advice for a very confused person would be greatly appreciated!
    Thank you very much
  2. Georgia99

    Georgia99 New commenter

    Hi Charlotte. At present, if you complete the PGCE with QTS (so the secondary school option) you can teach in both secondary schools and in further education or sixth form colleges.
    If you complete the PGCE PCET you are restricted to FE as you cannot currently teach in a secondary school without QTS and the PCET course will not include QTS.
    Michael Gove has proposed changes so that FE trained lecturers can work in schools but at the moment this is just in the pipeline and not confirmed. It is also aimed more at vocational subjects rather than English/Maths etc.
    I know it doesn't seem fair. Most secondary PGCEs will cover the age ranges between 11-19 which gives a good basis for teaching in school or FE. The problem with PGCE PCET is you don't get the behaviour management training needed to teach in schools and this is a big must. However, I also acknowledge that school trained colleagues do not have the experience of teaching adults.
    There are a lot of secondary trained English teachers competing for jobs so someone trained in FE will not be attractive to a school. There really aren't many English jobs in FE at all. If you really feel that you'd like to have the option to teach in both you would be better off trying to gain a place on the PGCE Secondary English.
  3. Correct, as long as you register with IfL and get QTLS (qualified Teacher in Life long learning and skills status) within 5 years of working in FE.
    Only partly correct here! You can teach on a school on a temporary basis (for as long as a teacher with QTS cannot be found) as an Unqualified Instructor (because FE teaching is regarded as a special skill or experience). In practice, you'd be given a year's contract as you don't have QTS and told to do the GTP course, in order to get QTS, if you want to stay at the school.
    Wrong! Michael Gove immediately accepted the Wolf's report recommendation in March 2011 that FE teachers with QTLS should be treated the same as school teachers. In practice, the DfE website stated in October last year that FE teachers with QTLS will be allowed to teach in schools without further training (such as the GTP) from April 2012, subject to a public consultation which was held on 16th December last year. As of yet, I haven't heard anything about the outcome of this, as I've been too busy getting QTLS! :)
    NB. This applies to all FE Teachers with QTLS not just those who are teaching vocational subjects (although it is true that one of the reasons behind this recommendation was to improve the quality of post 14 vocational courses offered in school). As a result, many FE Teachers currently employed in schools who were originally paid as Unqualified Instructors have now been put onto the MPS.
    By the way, Charlotte, you need to wait until you've finished your training course before you can get QTLS through professional formation.
    If you need further info about this, I posted about this subject in more detail on the following thread:
    Good luck with your course!
  4. Thank you to both of you for all of your wonderful advice. It is very much appreciated as this is such a confusing

    I really thought after deciding what I wanted to do 'career wise' things would get a little less confusing - not more so! But these replies have certainly helped to lessen the confusion!

    Thanks again

  5. I do agree with what you are saying. I do work experience once a week and every single week the teachers there are telling me that I am making the wrong decision and should steer clear, but I always think - this is what I have ALWAYS wanted to do, and at the moment, it is the same worries for all graduates about coming out of Uni with not many job prospects. I am just trying to stay positive and hope that when we finish our PGCE, there will be some opportunities out there for us. Good Luck!
  6. Georgia99

    Georgia99 New commenter

    If it is what you want to do Charlotte then go for it. My PGCE included QTS so I have the option of working in schools or FE and everyone told me I'd never get a job.
    All I can say is that it took me 5 months of applying and interviews but I was then offered 2 school based jobs and a FE job from 3 job interviews I attended over 3 consecutive days. That was all in Devon too!
    If you are prepared to move for a job you will also have increased chances. There are also other doors which it will open for you including private training companies who are looking for literacy tutors. I see lots of jobs advertised for those roles.
    Best of luck for the course. You will love it, I really enjoyed my PGCE year.
  7. And this is yet another reason why the University QTS-awarding PGCE courses are superior to FE-run PTTLLS/DTTLLS/CertEd/PGCE courses... the University-led PGCE courses are dictated their number of intake per subject by the TDA, based upon local labour-market activities.
    FE Colleges on the other hand, want as many students as possible due to the funding it attracts.
    I.E. If you take the University route, there should (in theory) be a guaranteed job for you in the local area. If there wasn't, you wouldn't be on the course in the first place.
    I know of no-one from my course who did not get a teaching position following graduation.

  8. When I went for my interview the course leader informed me that there is a strong chance that they will be changing the rules regarding an FE PCERT and it will be interchangeable like a full PGCE. I think she this goes to review around April but she was confident that they would pass it. If this happens you would be able to teach in a school if you wanted to but I think that it is still at the discretion of the school as to whether they pay you a full wage. However, there would be more pressure on them to do so if this does go ahead.

    Out of interest are they advising you against FE solely because of the job market or also because of the pay, conditions etc?
  9. Hello,

    This is a subject which over the past year has caused me many sleepless nights!! I completed my pgce pcet in 2011 I teach drama, but due to a lack of jobs I was unable to secure any full time work. I then got into silly at secondary schools and tried to get a job there. It's been really tough and I've been told I can't work there by some people, and I can by others, the wolf report still hasn't completely gone through and the majority of schools don't have a clue about it anyway. I'm now working as an instructor in a school and hoping I can be fast tracked through a GTP aT some point. If your subject area is English there are definitely more job opportunities out there for you but my advice would to be 100% sure you'd be happy working in FE, because it's not easy to just change. Not fair, but they do teach oh differently on the PCET course, and you don't do the skills tests.
  10. Hi Gillian 1986,

    They mainly advise me away from this area due to the job market. But, it will not put me off pursuing a career in this area. I've really enjoyed my work experience, and I have found it invaluable to go into an FE college as things have changed so much in the four years since I left!

    I've spoken to my leader of my PCET course which is due to start in September and she said the same thing that you were told at your interview.

    Nevertheless - it will not put me off! I am really, really looking forward to starting in September!

  11. At the time of posting this message to these forums - I had done much research into this area, only to be told different things by the many different people I spoke too e.g. my course leader for next year, teachers in FE etc...

    It is a confusing time when you know what you really want to do career wise, but are being told/reading much conflicting information, have many other things happening around you and don't know what to believe.

    Luckily, those who gave me information on these forums really helped to set my mind at rest. Unfortunately - there is a lot of conflicting information out there and for someone who had recently graduated and was being told the one thing they have always wanted to do would probably not be possible, is very disheartening.

    I'm really glad I pursued my MA and am even more glad I was accepted onto my PGCE which I am eager to begin in September. I would never regard either of these things as a waste of my effort, time or money if they are things I have aimed for for the past 6/7 years.

    Sometimes you just need to 'ask the experts' to save yourself the extra worry of trawling through the internet/speaking to others who just embed more worry into your mind.
  12. Georgia99

    Georgia99 New commenter

    Unfortunately Charlotte it does seem that within any thread, there always pops up a message from someone who wants to either insult you, criticise your spelling etc etc
    On the whole most people do give helpful advice though. I would have done exactly the same if I was you, afterall this is a forum to get advice from other people who may know more or have more experience than yourself. If this was not the case and everyone tried researching for answers first then this forum would not exist!
  13. I wish you every success with is Charlotte LC89. As for the arrogant and rude person who posted above if they are indeed an educator it makes you wonder how THEY got there in the first place!

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