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PGCE Application process questions

Discussion in 'Thinking of teaching' started by mike372, Sep 8, 2012.

  1. mike372

    mike372 New commenter

    Hi, I currently work full time as a maths teacher at an International School in Bangkok (been working there for 10 months). I'm applying for a secondary maths PGCE starting 2013 and I have a few questions:

    The GTTR website recommends that the principal referee should be someone from the university I graduated from. If I had the choice, I would prefer to use the director of the school I work at since he knows more about my suitability to be a teacher than a uni tutor who I didn't really see much of in my final year. But I also don't want to do anything to harm my application by not using someone from my uni. Any advice?

    Also, I have seen that some training providers require 2 weeks recent experience in a UK school prior to the interview. Apart from my current job which follows the British curriculum, I also completed the Students Associates Scheme last year but this is not recent experience. Is it likely that my experience would be sufficient?

    Finally, I've already sent off emails about this but I'm wondering if anyone here could tell me if providers normally allow an applicant to choose a date for their interview. Working full time 6000 miles away means that I may have some problems if I have to have an interview on a specific day.

    I realise that answers to my questions may vary depending on which unis I apply to but any advice is welcome. Thanks.

  2. Hi notnek,

    I have applied through GTTR before, and from what I know, they don't really let you pick on the dates that you can attend the interview - of course, this is entirely dependent upon the university, not GTTR. They interview on different days so could fit you in to one of these allocated days, but I doubt that they would set aside a day just for you.

    I am doing experience in a school starting from next week under the presumption that 2 weeks experience is just not enough. I got told in all of the institutions I applied to that my 3/4 weeks of shadowing was just not enough experience. I would think that your experience would be sufficient regardless of where the school is, as you are following the British Curriculum.

    There are two referees needed for GTTR - from what I remember, it is a character reference and somebody from university, so you could pick both. I am going back to one of my university lecturers for my reference this time around, and getting another reference from the teacher I am shadowing.

  3. mike372

    mike372 New commenter

    Thanks for the reply!

    Yes I didn't think there would be much choice over interview dates. I hope that my school won't mind if I miss a few days. And I also hope that I'm successful the first time or it's going to cost me a lot of money going back and forward to the UK!

    Two referees are required but only the principal referee provides a reference unless the uni asks for a second one (I think). It's who to choose for to be the principal referee that's my problem. I'm probably going to have to reluctantly choose my uni tutor to be my principal.
  4. inarnia

    inarnia New commenter

    If you email the admissions team at different universities they will be able to tell you if they offer phone interviews before you apply (they seem to have a standard yes/no policy on this.) If you can find a university willing to interview you in this way, you won't be disadvantaged, either. My friend was in a similar situation to you, applying whilst teaching in Asia, and managed to get a place on a very competitive primary PGCE course via phone interview.

    With regards to your experience, I would suggest that given that you are applying for secondary maths which is one of the least applied for PGCEs, your experience will most likely be sufficient. After all, the SAS is designed to be a 'PGCE taster', and you can talk about all the evidencing of your experiences that you had to do, the training days that you took part in, etc. Plus you have been teaching full time for 10 months which, even if your school does not mirror a British school exactly, means you have a realistic idea of the actual demands of planning and teaching on a full time basis, which is something PGCE admissions tutors are looking for. So long as you can team this with relevant knowledge of the current situation re: maths in the UK, I think that your application sounds fairly sound :)
  5. I have been out of Uni for a long time so a work colleague was my principal reference.
  6. mike372

    mike372 New commenter

    Thank you for your extremely helpful reply.

    I assumed that a phone interview wouldn't be possible but after hearing about your friend, I may try asking a few unis. I think I'd prefer a face-to-face interview although a phone interview would save me a lot of hassle/money.

    I may find it a bit tricky responding to questions about the SAS since it was a while ago and because I've done a lot of teaching since then. But I've a feeling that an interview will bring it up so I'll make sure I'm prepared.

    Do you have any advice about the references question in myinital post?
  7. glenn_xp

    glenn_xp New commenter

    I'm sure the director of your school would be fine as the main reference and the uni tutor second.

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