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PGCE Secondary English without an English degree- can it be done?

Discussion in 'Thinking of teaching' started by Easkey88, May 28, 2012.

  1. I'm thinking about training to teach English Secondary, only problem being that I don't have an English based degree.
    I studied Primary Education at universIty but didn't complete my QTS element. I then did a CELTA and taught English as a for a year (at a very basic level). Due to funding I was made redundant, and it is very hard to find regular, full time work.
    I will be teaching English over the summer to 11 - 14 years, which will be great experience. I love teaching and have a real passion for English, I just worry that I don't have the subject knowledge.
    Can anyone advise me as to what experience I may need to get onto a PGCE? or alternative routes? or just any advise would be great!
    Thanks :)
  2. andersoncouncil

    andersoncouncil New commenter

    Not sure if this helps at all but I am secondary trained, but not in English and have a degree in another subject. I taught English in FE for years, but am yet to invited to interview for a single English post in a secondary school (50+ applications). Most person specs seem to ask for a good degree in the subject. There is a requirement for so much of your degree to be subject related to get on to a secondary PGCE, not sure what that means in your case as English is obviously part of it. You could do a conversion degree through the OU, they will take a large number of credits from your existing degree, it is a hell of a lot cheaper than other routes and you could do it in your own time. I'm considering it myself.
  3. The conversion degree sounds like a good idea- thanks for the advice, i'll have a look into it. English was a part of my degree but a very small part, what with all the other subjects we had to cover...
    I know it is extremely competitive and i'm prepared to TA , mentor or anything really for a while if that will help me. I have friends who have been accepted on PGCE's and GTP's without too much experience just a real passion.
    Thanks for the advice, a lot of research ahead of me!
  4. andersoncouncil

    andersoncouncil New commenter

    I fell into teaching English and would love to go back to it. There is always FE, although jobs are tight at the moment it will pick up eventually and colleges are often less prescriptive in their person specs. Good luck with whatever you decide. If you ring the OU they can talk you through the options and I didn't find it pushy or like a sales call, but it was informative and helpful.
  5. Hi Due to the popularity of secondary English many teacher training course providers will tend to offer places to applicants with an English degree. Without an English degree you may find it difficult to get onto a course, however I would recommend contacting course providers in your area to discuss your qualifications and experience with them.
    You may find that were you to do the GTP (the employment-based teacher training route) your previous experience when studying primary education could allow you to complete the course in a shorter period of time. You would need to discuss this with the course providers concerned. Further information about the GTP can be found via the following page of our website:
    It is worth considering that once you have gained QTS you will be qualified to teach at both primary and secondary level. This means that it may be possible for you to train to teach one subject or age-range that your qualifications are suitable for, then at a later date switch to teaching English at secondary level without additional training. You would need to provide evidence of your subject knowledge, and the final decision would be down to the head of the school.
    I hope this information has helped and I wish you the very best in your teaching career.
    Lin Hinnigan, Teaching Agency
  6. Hi, I know you wrote this a couple of months ago, but in case you're still unsure.
    I've just finished my PGCE in Secondary English and have started at my new school. I have a degree in Media Practice and Theory and only an AS level in English Lit, but before starting the course I worked for 18 months as a cover supervisor attached to the English department. This was tough, but great experience as I knew I could hack it in the classroom and that I definitely wanted to work in a school.
    The university I trained at was happy to consider degrees that had relevance to English (another student had a classics degree) especially if the applicant also had relevant experience.
    My subject knowledge was pretty basic before I started. Working as a cover sup in an English department really helped as I had access to schemes of work and curriculum info as well as a store cupboard of set texts to work my way through. I read a lot over the summer to help prepare, but it was a case of learning as I went along. Revision guides are my saviour!
    Hope this helps.

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