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Placement help, car or not?

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by StaceE_88, Aug 11, 2011.

  1. StaceE_88

    StaceE_88 New commenter

    I'm starting my primary PGCE in Sept, and have been asked to say whether I have access to a car or not. I do own a car but am not 100% sure whether I'll be able to afford to renew my insurance yet. So I have told them that I do not have a car. However, I'm now concerned that I'm putting myself at a disadvantage as to the schools that I'll have access to i.e. county schools. I also took the advice of other teachers and students that I know who have said not to tell them you have a car so they can't send you really far away.

    Should I inform them of my situation or just keep it as it is? I don't want to have them rule out schools in the county but I don't want to be sent really far away or be relied upon for lifts in case I don't have my car.
     
  2. StaceE_88

    StaceE_88 New commenter

    I'm starting my primary PGCE in Sept, and have been asked to say whether I have access to a car or not. I do own a car but am not 100% sure whether I'll be able to afford to renew my insurance yet. So I have told them that I do not have a car. However, I'm now concerned that I'm putting myself at a disadvantage as to the schools that I'll have access to i.e. county schools. I also took the advice of other teachers and students that I know who have said not to tell them you have a car so they can't send you really far away.

    Should I inform them of my situation or just keep it as it is? I don't want to have them rule out schools in the county but I don't want to be sent really far away or be relied upon for lifts in case I don't have my car.
     
  3. I had a similar dilemma when I was deciding whether or not to get a car. I would say you've done the right thing. My uni told me if I said I didn't they would try to match me to a school that was on a public transport route. You've chosen a safe option because if you find out you can afford to insure your car then you might be even better off if the placement is fairly close by.
    I don't think that you'll get sent further away though if you said yes. You have to remember that it entirely depends on how many have cars/don't have cars and where the placements are. If most of the schools are fairly far away, even if most students don't have cars they will still have to travel.
    So stick by your decision, and wait to see what happens.
     
  4. I said I didn't have a car, the question I was given was "will you definitely have access to a car next year?" I said No because if my car broke down there is no way I could afford to fix it, so I don't feel bad about "lying". My car is thankfully fine, but when my insurance is due for renewal I have no idea how I'm going to pay for it. :|
     
  5. StaceE_88

    StaceE_88 New commenter

    That's put my mind at rest, thanks! I think I'll just stick by my decision and hope for the best really, it's a shame I won't find out all my placements in one go and that way I could decide whether to declare my car sorn and invest in a bus pass instead. My insurance is due for renewal in November, and after only driving for a year who knows how much it'll be!
     
  6. RaymondSoltysek

    RaymondSoltysek New commenter


    Mmm... I'm in charge of placements at my institution,
    and I think this shows really bad faith.

    YOU might get a nice wee school five minutes' drive down the road
    from you - and one of your classmates might well face a journey that
    is an hour longer than they would have had. If you can live
    with that, fair enough, but if I found out in placement 1 that you
    were using a car you hadn’t told me about, I'd make sure you had
    one heck of a journey in Placement 2! [​IMG]
     
  7. I agree! How unfair on someone who genuinely does not have a car who could have to travel an hour and a half by public transport and you could end up wih a school a ten minu
    te drive away because you lied!
     
  8. And sometimes people worry about the placement allocation process?! Sorry, but although I think lying is the wrong way to go your assertion just compounds it!
    We were asked about whether we drove and whether we had access to a car - two seperate questions. Those who could drive but didn't have a car were often given a hire car but expected to be a taxi for 4 other student teachers - who often were only in schools that were 'close' to each other. This meant that you had to coordinate the journey in and home according to different school timetables for events, meetings etc.
    I would suggest that you are honest about your situation - Yes I can drive but yes/no I don't have access to a car. If your situation changes before placement schools are announced then just update the coordinator. That way you are protected by giving the Uni the 'worst' situation but if things work out better you can be fair to Uni and the others on your course.
     
  9. StaceE_88

    StaceE_88 New commenter

    As I have already stated, my issue is that due to the bursaries being cut I do not know whether I will have access to my car come November as I might not be able to afford the thousand pounds it will cost me to insure it. The form did not allow for this sort of situation, it was merely a yes or no to whether you have a car. My dilemna was whether to let the university know that there is a possibility I may have a car but I can not be 100% sure, I would not want the university relying on me to provide transport for people only for me to have to let them down as I haven't been able to afford to keep my car on the road, hence why I am a little surprised at some of the harsher responses I have received. Please read the posts properly before jumping in.
     
  10. I'm not certain which responses you meant but mine was not meant to seem harsh, if it did!
    Although you have had to fill in a black and white form, there is always a person reading the forms and acting on the information. I would suggest you contact them and explain your situation, I have no doubt they will understand your situation and they are ultimately in the best position to advise you.
     
  11. StaceE_88

    StaceE_88 New commenter

    That's what I was planning on doing, I just saw 'please fill in straight away', panicked and did it! Going to email the placement organiser tomorrow and explain my circumstances. Going to have a look over finances too over the weekend with my partner who is a bit more of a whizz than me at that and hopefully I can sort something out so I'm not worrying about paying for my insurance! Just makes it all the more difficult that student loans still haven't sorted things yet so I don't know how much I'll be getting for definite.

    No I wasn't referring to you franob :) thanks for the advice.
     
  12. Exactly the same, it's due in November & only be driving a year. If I can afford my insurance then obviously will tell them I've got a car.
     
  13. RaymondSoltysek

    RaymondSoltysek New commenter

    So it's simple - say no, and then when the situation becomes clearer, let them know it's changed. If by that time you are using your car and you have been allocated to a school nearby, offer to change or to take a more distant placement next time.
     
  14. <font size="2">I would also urge people to be truthful. I am a single parent with no transport; I will be solely relying on public transport to travel to and from placements. This is my single biggest worry about the PGCE, as I have to take my son to a childminders (10 minute walk) then get myself to the train station (another 20 minute walk) and that's only if my placement is accessible by train. I'm worried about how much time will be added on to my day just by travelling and how it's going to eat into the time I should be spending with my son. The workload is going to impact on our relationship already; I don't want to waste my time travelling as well. I'm prepared to travel for an hour each way, and I've worked out which schools are doable and which aren't. I hope to god I get placed in one of the schools I can get to. I would be so upset to learn someone with a car (or who is able to spend a bit more time travelling) had been placed more locally than I had. Please consider people with dependents.</font>
     
  15. StaceE_88

    StaceE_88 New commenter

    Already sent them an email explaining my circumstances, and like I've said it's got nothing to do with the distances I'd have to travel, I'm full prepared to travel an hour each way. But I can't say for definite that I will have my car as I don't know if it will be an option I can afford.

    Just got to wait and see what the university advise. It means that I can drive to the smaller paired placement in October but after that I don't know if I'll have my car. It all depends really on how they organise the placements, whether they do them in one go or organise each placement separately.
     
  16. StaceE_88

    StaceE_88 New commenter

    Just got my reply back and she said that they can update my circumstances accordingly throughout the year but best to put on the form that I do not have a car in the meantime, so anyone else who was having the same issue then just keep them informed really.
     
  17. I wish I'd lied about having a car when I did my PGCE. It cost me £30 a week to top up my fuel tank, which was a lot more than those who had to travel via public transport. I really struggled to meet costs while on my PGCE, and I'm quite lucky in that I have no children support. I do understand that I have the easy end of the deal because I have a car (more comfortable, convenient etc.) but there are two sides to this. I lived in fear of my car breaking down, because my school would have been impossible to get to by public transport. I either had to leave the house at 6am or risk being late.

    It may be dishonest, but my journey was far longer than anyone else's on my course. I may have been unlucky with my placement, but I do feel it was partly because I had a car. It was exhausting at times, and I was amazed my car lasted. I couldn't afford another one, nor could I afford to get it fixed if it did break down.
     
  18. £30 a week? That seems quite cheap to me...public transport can be horribly expensive. To go half an hour away from where I live it costs almost £10 return. Of course you can get season tickets and I agree that a car has many costs on top of petrol. But I would imagine universities will take into account how long it will take to get somewhere depending on your travel arrangements. It could take double the time to go the same distance by public transport, so even though you might be going 'further' that doesn't mean to say your journey takes longer.
     
  19. Speaking to people who were on the course I'm doing last year, and who live in the same rural part of the county that I live in, this seems to be commonplace.
    I'd have no issues taking time out of my day doing this (as I have no children just yet), but having just spent a fortune on a fairly new car with low mileage, I'd expect them ALL to chip in for fuel and for wear and tear.Otherwise, they can find their own way to school.
    The girl from my village I was speaking to about this said she felt taken advantage of by her peers, and wished she'd made a stand at the start.
     
  20. hi,
    Im not sure where my placement is but to get the university it is a 45min drive with ok trafic but can take about an hour, or a ten min drive to the station then half an hour on the train. I have to leave home 5 minutes earlier if getting the train. It also works out about the same amount of money. Ive decided to get the train as I can work on the train, I cant get any work done if im driving. Just saying there is a good side to public transport.
     

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