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PGCE Eligibility Questions Prior to Application

Discussion in 'Thinking of teaching' started by Connie2504, Sep 27, 2020.

  1. Connie2504

    Connie2504 New commenter

    Hi All

    Thank you in advance for reading my post.

    I have been seriously thinking about getting into teaching and have an idea of the path I want to take. I have some serious doubts however about whether I can make the cut given my work history and qualifications.

    My preference would be to go down the Primary PGCE route. I have a grade C/4 in Maths and AS Level C/4 in English however failed Science twice and only got a DD (double award).
    I later went on to do an Environmental Health degree and achieved a 2:1 (which includes some Biology elements at best). I also have a whole bunch of other level 2's and 3's however probably not relevant, eg. Level 3 Food Auditing etc

    - My first query would therefore be: Would I need to obtain a C in Science prior to even being considered for a PGCE, or would they let me study for one whilst on the PGCE?

    My other issue is in relation to my work background which varies somewhat. I have a history of working in hospitality and went on to become a food inspector before deciding I couldn't continue travelling leaving my children at home. So I then went to become a School Secretary and have done so for 3 years now. In your experiences do you think I would need to get some assistant teaching experience before the interview stage?

    I know these seem like trivial questions given the amount of information available online however my worry is that time is running out for me in a sense. My youngest will soon be 17 and so if I am going to switch my career, I need to make sure everything is water tight as I don't want to be out of work when my youngest leaves for Uni (I am sole earner).

    Thank you for your input.
  2. JJ83

    JJ83 Occasional commenter

    Experience working with young people is always helpful as you may have to teach in your interview (no idea of covid restrictions around interviews at the moment).
    And yes you may need your Science GCSE but it is worth calling a few providers and asking if they will accept other quals instead
  3. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    No we won’t accept other qualifications - you will need the science GCSE. In a strange aside, we don’t accept A level or Degree as equivalent as GCSE either! It’s a pain, but as an English specialist my degree and A level didn't count. I had to have the GCSE In English as well. I would get on a gcse course In science rapidly.
    There is a statutory requirement that we cannot insist on school experience as cite it a condition or as a reason for rejection.
    There isn’t much stopping you. Applications open mid October, have your application ready to go. They will make it a condition you obtain and pass the science GCSE. My tip is to go for the iGCSE rather than the state one. It’s a lot easier.
    lau_bellagamba and Stiltskin like this.
  4. rolls

    rolls Occasional commenter

    Your PGCE provider may also allow you to sit an equivalency test rather than a GCSE. Although I agree with the previous poster about IGCSEs being a good option, some of my students had difficulties with this last year in the COVID situation as they the study was private online with a private exam at the end. The exam was cancelled, they lost the admin and course materials fees and there was no tutor to give them a predicted grade. They ended up having to pay again to take an equivalency test.
    If you can sign up to do a GCSE course at a local college this is the safest route at the moment as even if exams are cancelled again you will be assessed and be given a predicted grade.
    Whichever route you take, start studying now, the equivalency test or GCSE will both take time to ensure you cover all the curriculum.
  5. Connie2504

    Connie2504 New commenter

    HI All, Thank you for your guidance. It is hugely appreciated. i'm just working on my application now for Tuesday's opening.
    Your help is very much appreciated.
  6. Connie2504

    Connie2504 New commenter

    Sorry please could I ask another question to anybody who has previously gone down the PGCE route?

    I did attend an open day today but frustratingly couldn't get any answers due to 'technical difficulties' on their side.

    I was just wondering - the application, is there anything else I should be drafting other than the personal statement (it's been a few years since I did a UCAS application sorry).

    Also, just to pre-empt my schedule, what is the ratio of classroom time to placement ie, how many days will be I be on campus versus how many days will I be on placement?
  7. PGCE_tutor

    PGCE_tutor New commenter

    There's the usual personal details, work history etc, but no, the only prose to be written is the personal statement.
    The requirement is for 120 days on placement and we do 60 days on campus, so twice as much time in school. Different institutions will organise their timetables in different ways. Some will have weeks where there are some days at school and some at Uni, whereas others will do it in blocks.
  8. Connie2504

    Connie2504 New commenter

    That's great thank you. I'm just sat here waiting for the PGCE application portal to open on UCAS. Is it worth be staying up until midnight or am I just wasting my time? I've Googled and Googled but can't find the exact time anywhere when applications can be submitted:(

    The anticipation is too much!
  9. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    It’s open today.

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