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RE or Social Science PGCE?

Discussion in 'Thinking of teaching' started by tom_don97, Dec 8, 2019.

  1. tom_don97

    tom_don97 New commenter


    I recently graduated from the University of Leeds with a First in Sociology, and currently work in a pastoral role in sixth form college.

    In the next year or two, I am interested in starting a PGCE. My dilemma is that I love my subject of Sociology, but the job prospects seem particularly low and few institutions offer the Social Science PGCE. Alternatively, I have been looking into an RE PGCE and have contacted a couple of universities to see if they would consider me as I come from a different discipline - the response has been positive. I am interested in the Ethics side of RE and cultivating a harmonious and multicultural worldview within a classroom; my issue here is that I have a limited understanding of world religions apart from basic knowledge (I understand that I would have to complete a SKE course). The benefit with an RE PGCE, in my view, would be better prospects as more schools have this as part of their curriculum.

    What are people's opinions on this? Is it best to stick with my original discipline? Would I be able to teach A Level Sociology with an RE PGCE if a school has an adjoining sixth form? Any ideas are appreciated!
  2. phatsals

    phatsals Senior commenter

    I'd go down the Social Science path, you will have more options that straight RE. You also need a second subject, if you can offer say maths, you would have your choice of jobs. Have a look at your degree breakdown and A' Levels to see what you could offer.

    You are right that few institutions offer the social science route, but by that measure there are fewer applicants for posts. In short, you get a post quickly. As it tends to be a very popular A' Level choice, 6th form will probably be your route. With QTS you can teach in schools as a Qualified teacher, and it's for life

    The alternative route for many is to do the PGCE in Fe. This is more limited, you don't get QTS, you have to start QTLS after you have finished the PGCE, pay for it, and keep paying for life. You would not be employed on the Qualified teacher scale until you completed QTLS

    I did the PGCE Social Science many years ago, all the trainees had posts before the end of the course. With a First, you won't struggle to find employment.
    agathamorse likes this.
  3. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    The EBACC is crushing the social sciences. We have had to drop it from our suite - it was getting too hard to find placements and then jobs for them. The RE has an SKE which you could do before joining (and it is paid) and then we are booming for RE. Schools are very keen for RE teachers. The new ofsted framework has made them stop squeezing RE and start doing it properly.
    Though, to be fair, it really depends what part of the country you want to live and work which course will be helpful.
    agathamorse likes this.

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