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PGCE vs GTP

Discussion in 'Primary' started by racheleast, Feb 15, 2012.

  1. Hi
    I have been offered a place on a primary PGCE, and I have an interview for a GTP (run through a school who have a training centre), does anyone have any advice on which route is best? Aside from the financial considerations (GTP I would get £15k salary, PGCE I would be paying £8500!) what do people think are the pros/cons?
    I think the GTP sounds great as from the start you spend 4 days in a class and 1 day doing theory so would get much more practical experience, any opinions/views?
    Thanks, Rachel
     
  2. Hi
    I have been offered a place on a primary PGCE, and I have an interview for a GTP (run through a school who have a training centre), does anyone have any advice on which route is best? Aside from the financial considerations (GTP I would get £15k salary, PGCE I would be paying £8500!) what do people think are the pros/cons?
    I think the GTP sounds great as from the start you spend 4 days in a class and 1 day doing theory so would get much more practical experience, any opinions/views?
    Thanks, Rachel
     
  3. zannar

    zannar New commenter


    I went through the GTP process which I found useful after many years as a TA. However, at the time (and I do not know if this still applies) I had the one chance to pass and could not re-take or do a PGCE if I failed. Also be aware that the GTP is not counted as a teaching qualification in some countries.
     
  4. modgepodge

    modgepodge Occasional commenter

    Personally I think the PGCE is better but it probably depends on your personality, experience so far etc. I didn't have a huge amount of experience in schools (ie I hadn't been a TA) before my PGCE - the thought of starting in Sept with my own class for 4 days a week would have been terrifying! On my PGCE we had around 8 weeks of input before we were allowed near a class, which helped me feel more confident. If you have 1 day a week theory for the year on a GTP you only get 39 days of input which is no where near as much as you'll get on a PGCE. On the flip side, you get more time in the classroom on GTP than you do on PGCE.
    I welcomed the chance to discuss things in an academic way with other PGCE people and tutors on the course, something I'd imagine is not so regular on GTP. Also, as I was always in "someone else's class", I could experiment and try out new stuff, take a risk, and there was someone else to observe and comment on what worked and what didn't....if you have your own class from day 1 it's harder to do this and you may tend to stick in your comfort zone (as I'm now finding in my NQT year).
    Have to say though, given how much PGCEs now cost, I can see why GTP would be extremely tempting if you have the choice. I also have no figure to back this up but I wonder if the employment rate for GTP graduates may be higher than PGCEs, because many stay on in the school they trained in. As I say, no figures to back this at all, I could be wrong. You do know there are literally thousands of unemployed teachers out there, don't you?
     
  5. I did the GTP. It's very hard work, but really rewarding. However, a lot of it depends on the school you are in. Lots of people on my course had far better support than me and were included in the life and workings of the school. I was treated like a bit of a burden, and wasn't given any opportunities for training apart from watching my mentor teach.
    You don't have your "own" class, because you cannot be classed as a teacher. You are a trainee, and so although you may be assigned a class, that class still needs to have a designated teacher as well as you. I started off observing, working with groups, planning with the teacher etc. I then gradually built up to teaching 80% for the whole of the summer term. From memory after a couple of weeks to settle in, we were 30% and then 50%. That works well if you are with a teacher who can "let go" and encourage you to try things out for yourself.
    All trainees have a minimum of 200 hours professional practice, whether via PGCE or GTP.
    I had previously spent years working as a TA in a different school, and so, despite some shortcomings of my GTP school, the route worked well for me. I know some of the people on my course who had not worked in schools before found it very overwhelming, though.
    I can't compare my GTP with a PGCE, having only been through one, but I can tell you that I think it's a fantastic route into teaching. My cohort at uni built up a brilliant team spirit, we still all stay in touch, and we supported each other all the way through. We had lots of opportunities for the "academic discussions" modgepodge describes above, and also plenty of time in schools to build confidence, get to know how we wanted our own classrooms to run (or not!) and practice what we were being taught at uni. One of the best years of my life!
     
  6. zannar

    zannar New commenter

    Although technically you are employed as an unqualified teacher.
    I was used to cover for absent colleagues on this premise. Although it was a good experience for me personally it can add to the pressures of working almost full time and studying. It is very easy for schools to take advantage so you have to tread with care.
     
  7. modgepodge

    modgepodge Occasional commenter

    Sorry I obviously misunderstood how it worked...I'm sure some of the GTP people I know had their own classes....perhaps they were overseen by the head or something officially, but i'm sure the GTP student was to all intents and purposes the class teacher. I would have thought that was one of the main reasons a school would have a GTP person in - after all they have to pay their wage - cos it's a cheap way of getting a teacher for a year.
     
  8. RaggyBull

    RaggyBull New commenter

    <font size="2">Though you may get more input
    time as someone earlier suggested, this time is not always that beneficial
    based on my own experience. Whilst you will meet plenty of good friends in this
    university input time, the course I was on focussed a lot on the theories of Piaget
    and others for one of the many essays you will be asked to do. I don't know if
    you get the same number of assignments on the GTP, but none of the theory
    information I was taught I now use or even really think about today. Conversely, they
    spent two or three lectures/seminars on planning and assessment.</font>
    You do get some good ideas through the different subject seminars, but it depends on how much experience you have and if you feel you're ready to be thrown in at the deep end for the GTP route. I wouldn't pay &pound;8500 for the PGCE knowing what I do now.
     
  9. I agree that there wasn't a huge amount of educational theory (Piaget, Vygotsky etc) on my GTP. For me, this was fine since my degree is in education, but I know that some of the others with degrees in other subject areas and no experience in schools did ask for some more on this.
    On a GTP, the emphasis is on the school as training provider. As I said, if you end up in a supportive school who give you lots of training opportunities and a range of children / teachers to work with, it's great experience. If you end up in a school who don't know what to do with you and who don't let you work with others or observe anyone, it's hard!
    I know that there are always exceptions, but I really do find it hard to see how a GTP could have their own class - you are at uni at least one day a week and only teach 30% in the first term.
    It is a bit "in at the deep end" but a great learning curve! I felt more prepared for my NQT than some of the PGCE people I know.
     

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