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PGCEi - advantages and drawbacks?

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by WatchYourTongue, Apr 14, 2018.


PGCEi - good for someone in my circumstance?

  1. Good - go for it

  2. Bad - it won't get you where you want to be

  3. I don't know, but am interested in others' opinions

  4. No idea, never heard of it before

    0 vote(s)
  5. I just like clicking on polls

  1. WatchYourTongue

    WatchYourTongue New commenter

    Hello fellow teachers,

    I've just discovered this is a thing, and so far it seems it's all online, via Sunderland University, so I can continue working, it doesn't qualify you to work in schools in the UK, US, Oz, NZ or Canada, but can be very useful for entrance into international schools worldwide.

    Currently I'm in an okay TEFL gig in the ME, but salaries are stagnant and the place (the ME) is a bit of a dump. I could do a 'real' PGCE but the overall cost - lost wages, housing, utilities, taxes - make this a very expensive option, plus I'd have to immediately give up my present job. And I don't want to teach in the UK anyway.

    I currently have a BA in Economics, a Trinity Cert. TEFL and 10 years experience in six countries. I'd like the opportunity to teach in countries other than the Middle East or China, and in schools of a high standard which require teachers with more than just a Bachelor's and CELTA. I'm ready to move on from just teaching EFL, and am willing to put the hours in - on top of my working hours - for a year to attain a PGCEi, if that's going to open a lot more doors.

    At the moment I'm teaching four (45 minutes) periods a day, and have very little paperwork or marking to do. The only time I'm busy is when we have overtime, which is paid for. The rest of the time I'm kicking my heels, and wondering Is There More To Life Than This? If it's any help I'm single, dating and any social activities in this region are woeful at best, so moving to far-flung, exotic countries isn't a problem.
  2. Ne11y

    Ne11y Occasional commenter

    From what I've read on this forum before, it's not worth it. A lot of schools expect some experience in UK schools too.


    A lot of places do what is sometimes called a SCITT - you work while you teach (in the UK). Have you considered that?
  3. sparklesparkle

    sparklesparkle Established commenter

    Which school subjects are you qualified to teach? Very few schools will be looking to hire an economics teacher.
  4. adrixargentina

    adrixargentina Occasional commenter

    You can go down the Business Studies route. I did Teach First and I was paid on the job. It's a 2 year commitment and you need a 2:1 at least.
  5. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    I know plenty of people in very good schools around the world that have done it. Two ex student teachers of mine that are now teaching in two of the big 3 in Bangkok. So dont listen to anyone who thinks its not worth it. I know nothing of British schools though, i am only talking about IB schools....and there are a lot more of them than "british" schools.
    grdwdgrrrl likes this.
  6. WatchYourTongue

    WatchYourTongue New commenter

    I was thinking more along the lines of teaching elementary and middle school students, even being a homeroom teacher. I did pretty well in my GCSEs and 'A' levels, and I could probably pick up the details for lower levels quite easily.

    I've not heard of SCITT, and the thought of being in a UK school is not something I relish. My economics degree was interesting, but I'm not looking to teach it. I'm more looking to teach young pupils in international schools, where the subjects I'm already knowledgeable about or it would take too much work - no PhD involvement - to get up to speed, so to speak.
  7. rouxx

    rouxx Lead commenter

    I know two people who have done it and both have found employment in international schools. One in a very well known IB school, the other was able to follow her husband around the world and pick up employment in good schools as a local hire.
  8. sparklesparkle

    sparklesparkle Established commenter

    You would be competing against people who have an actual degree in core middle school subjects, such as English, History or Art. They will also have a PGCE or BEd, with experience in UK schools.

    You think this is easy to pick up but I'd suggest you're wrong about that. If you think the job is easy you may not understand what it involves.

    How will this online course give you the edge over people who have studied and trained for the job? People who have made the sacrifices you're not willing to make? Why would a school with high standards want you? What do you have to offer a school, apart from your EFL experience? There might be a job out there for you but it won't be at a place with high standards. If you want a better job the most obvious qualification is an online masters in TESOL.
    willow78 likes this.
  9. yasf

    yasf Established commenter

    The one I know of involved two six week placements in a real school too. Which you have to organise / find.
    As what? Which age group?
    Likely you'll be in for a shock - especially if you go into primary. Teaching primary isn't anything like what you probably have ever done before if you're a TEFL teacher, and have only taught adults / older kids.
  10. noneedtothink

    noneedtothink New commenter

    I have been a teacher for almost a decade in international and British schools in Europe. I have various other teaching certificates, but I decided to undertake the PGCEi last autumn (with Nottingham). For some reason, there seems to be a certain snobbery from some teachers about it being mainly online. However, I've found the course to be really interesting, at times difficult. It has reinvigorated my classroom practice.

    The course also includes two residential weekends where you get to meet your course mates, it provides you with a mentor and also a placement if needed. The content itself is no different from a PGCE and in some aspects is a little more in depth. It will certainly give you the theoretical knowledge behind teaching. Another option would be to complete QTS assessment only route, which TES provide. Both routes are equally valid as teaching qualifications and I'd assume most schools would accept these credentials.

    I hope that helps.
  11. hongkonger2006

    hongkonger2006 New commenter

    Just a quick note - PGCEi from Nottingham is not accepted in Hong Kong. Basically the government doesn't recognise it and therefore you wouldn't be able to register as a teacher.

    Not sure about other places.
    ejclibrarian likes this.
  12. clovispoint

    clovispoint Occasional commenter

    Having been a mentor, I can attest that the iPGCE is nowhere near as demanding as a full time PGCE on many levels. It just is not the same.

    The success of candidates who hold this qualification is down to the individuals not the qualification. We have had some amazing candidates get the qualification and become good teachers but they would have been just as successful with a PGCE. Others have gained the qualification but you wouldn't want them teaching alongside you, never mind a child of yours.
  13. snitzelvonkrumm

    snitzelvonkrumm Occasional commenter

    Advantage - It can be completed whilst working and done online. It is my understanding that it was developed for international teachers, often with a degree but no specific teaching qualification. Others were ESL/EAL teachers, a vital need within many international schools, who wanted to open their options to become class-based or a subject specialist.
    Disadvantage - it is not recognised in some counties and many Heads view it as a shortcut.
    However, once a teacher is well established and has good references, the qualification will have limited significance for most.
    I have worked with some ordinary teachers who have remained mediocre post completion of a PGCEi. Others have been outstanding teachers who needed to tick the formal qualification box and have used a PGCEi to launch highly successful careers.
    Conclusion, the PGCEi is providing a positive service and fulfilling a need for both teachers and International school.
    ruthwill500 likes this.
  14. gudrunbjorg

    gudrunbjorg New commenter

    I did the PGCEi as it was recommended by my previous employer. While it is certainly not as back-breaking as a "proper" PGCE, I learned a lot, and it definitely worked in my favour for my next (current) position. However, it is worth noting that I also had an MA and a BA in education, which may or may not have helped. My partner did a different PGCE with Buckingham University, which was different in the sense that he was assigned a mentor and had to fly to the UK about once or twice (possibly more but no more than four times), but did all the work and study at his then international school. That might be worth looking into as well.
    Capricorn2412 likes this.
  15. Capricorn2412

    Capricorn2412 New commenter

    @gudrunbjorg What has the feedback been of the PGCE that your partner did from potential/current employers?
  16. Just about to start my PGCEi .....I have 12 years experience, 6 years of this in international schools, have BA and MA TESOL and have also worked as the head of EFL in an international school. A good school that really cares about their students will be looking for teachers with EFL/ESL experience - you need the PGCE/PGCEi but it's just a foot in the door. I've lost count of the number of "qualified" teachers, some with over 20 years experience who have come knocking on my door for help because they have no idea how to teach second language learners. I can only speak for Asia but I say go for it, it will open many doors - but go for Sunderland not Nottingham - Nottingham has no observed teaching practice.
  17. grdwdgrrrl

    grdwdgrrrl Occasional commenter

    This is very true. Hong Kong does accept the Sunderland one though. I would do that one if you want more options. I did Nottingham and so far so good. Head of my department now. I am at a very good school which, by the way offers opportunities for those wanting to do the Sunderland one. As do other schools around here.
    Some of us do not intend to ever leave the international circuit.
  18. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    This issue is how long the i qualification holders will be accepted as a qualified teacher.

    In China it only requires a BA/BSc to obtain a work visa as a teacher. Over the last few months there have been many stories about the poor behavior of teachers in the country, one solution is to increase the qualifications requirements to obtain a works visa for teachers.

    Many unscrupulous school owners like the iPGCE as it allows them to recruit low skilled, low pay teachers to work in rip off establishments around the world.

    Having QTS from the UK or another western country does give you peace of mind as to obtaining a visa to work in the future.
  19. steluta

    steluta New commenter

    Go for it!

    I did mine in 2003 in Dubai(Sunderland), and worked in 4 countries since. This wasn’t quite an online certificate: we met every two weeks, watched and discussed lectures and had quite tough teaching practices. Saw the leader of the Programme and a few professors from the UK 3-4 times at my school during that time. My last two schools are among the top in their region: excellent students, resources, package, healthcare and exam results, etc. I know quite a few people who did it and worked internationally since then, some of them are senior leaders in their schools.

    As far as I know, independent schools in the UK don’t require a PGCE, do you should also be ok there. Know plenty of people who went back, none of them are working in state schools.

    Good luck!
  20. Have you ever considered working in China?

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