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PGCE or .gov dilemma...

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by motheroffinn, May 6, 2012.

  1. Any advice much appreciated. I am a 45 year old Maths Graduate with an MSc and an unwritten PhD... I've worked in academia/research and as a public servant since graduating with a good 2;1 in Maths in 1988. Last year I got a place on a secondary Maths PGCE course and applied for voluntary redundancy from the Government Agency for whom I have worked since 1999. I didn't get the VR and chose to defer my PGCE place for 12 months while I had a think about what to do. (I have been working an extra few hours a week as a maths tutor (mostly 11+ stuff as we still have free academically selective grammar schools where I live). If anything this has reinforced by desire to retrain as a Maths teacher).
    The 12 months is almost up and I face a difficult choice and a financial dilemma. As the main earner in the household since my husband took redundancy 3
    years ago and then proceeded to start his own business in a recession I
    feel morally obliged to stay where I am simply because of my salary which we are just about getting by on (his business is still in its infancy). My next promotion which may come in a few months would make us comfortable but may still leave me unchallenged mentally. If I take up the PGCE place with a tax free bursary of £15k and a small maintainence grant but fees of not quite £9k we might scrape through the PGCE year but then in my NQT year I would potentially be paid at MPS Level 1 which is what I was earning 20 years ago.
    How likely is it that, as a mature Mathematician with life and extensive work experience, I will be able to succesfully negotiate a higher starting salary and/or to progress more quickly through the pay scale (subject to me not being a complete disater in the classroom of course)?
    Any other career changers out there who have faced similar?
    Thanks in anticipation of any responses...
     
  2. Any advice much appreciated. I am a 45 year old Maths Graduate with an MSc and an unwritten PhD... I've worked in academia/research and as a public servant since graduating with a good 2;1 in Maths in 1988. Last year I got a place on a secondary Maths PGCE course and applied for voluntary redundancy from the Government Agency for whom I have worked since 1999. I didn't get the VR and chose to defer my PGCE place for 12 months while I had a think about what to do. (I have been working an extra few hours a week as a maths tutor (mostly 11+ stuff as we still have free academically selective grammar schools where I live). If anything this has reinforced by desire to retrain as a Maths teacher).
    The 12 months is almost up and I face a difficult choice and a financial dilemma. As the main earner in the household since my husband took redundancy 3
    years ago and then proceeded to start his own business in a recession I
    feel morally obliged to stay where I am simply because of my salary which we are just about getting by on (his business is still in its infancy). My next promotion which may come in a few months would make us comfortable but may still leave me unchallenged mentally. If I take up the PGCE place with a tax free bursary of £15k and a small maintainence grant but fees of not quite £9k we might scrape through the PGCE year but then in my NQT year I would potentially be paid at MPS Level 1 which is what I was earning 20 years ago.
    How likely is it that, as a mature Mathematician with life and extensive work experience, I will be able to succesfully negotiate a higher starting salary and/or to progress more quickly through the pay scale (subject to me not being a complete disater in the classroom of course)?
    Any other career changers out there who have faced similar?
    Thanks in anticipation of any responses...
     
  3. frustum

    frustum Lead commenter

    I don't think you should rely on getting more than MPS1, although it's not impossible that you might be able to negotiate a little higher.
    Is your husband's business getting going? Might another year make a big difference? You could perhaps also use the year to build up your tuition, to boost income a little, although you should be cautious about having too much extra on your plate when it comes to PGCE and NQT year, which are demanding for anyone.
    Another possibility to investigate is the GTP, which might be better financially for you than PGCE.
     
  4. PaulDG

    PaulDG Occasional commenter

    In the state sector, your MSc and possibly your life experience might get you to MPS2 for your first job (in the right school), progression up the scale beyond threshold really depends just how much of your life you are prepared to dedicate to the school.

    But you can count on nothing. Unless you can get a job in a grammar or in the Independent sector (which may well pay even less), your MSc or PhD will count for nothing - you'll be spending most of your time teaching 15 year olds how to reliably multiply by 10, not stretching the best Further Maths candidates.
     
  5. Nazard

    Nazard New commenter

    Theoretically schools can pay you at whatever level they want. The government will say that they have made it easier for schools to decide to pay teachers with life-experience more. They will also say they leave it up to schools.

    In many schools the reality is that finance is an issue. If they have a choice between someone cheap and someone expensive ...

    There may be some schools that would pay more, but they are likely to be the ones that find it difficult to appoint, so they are likely to be tough places to work.

    In my experience of this it is rare for teachers to be offered more than a single extra point on the pay scale.

    Sorry not to be bearer of better news. Perhaps others have heard of it happening more? (Please don't take my experience as being definitive).

    - Oh, and very best of luck with it all.
     
  6. bombaysapphire

    bombaysapphire Star commenter

    I was in a similar position to you when I started in teaching. I found that schools did not recognise work experience outside teaching as an asset.
    That experience helped me to gain promotion quickly but I started on MPS1. I have know people start on MPS2 but that has tended to be in schools which struggle to find applicants. That varies by geographical area. It can mean that it isn't a good school to work in.
     

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