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Returning to teaching - but I've been in Education

Discussion in 'Career clinic' started by kikimora, Nov 17, 2015.

  1. kikimora

    kikimora New commenter

    I am looking to return to teaching, 20 years after my PGCE! I trained originally in secondary, but almost immediately began working in the area of learning technologies. I've had a really varied and very successful career - a lot of training work in schools, I've run modules on PGCE courses, undertaken educational research projects which have been based around action research and working with teachers in class, and I have undertaken some of my own teaching in schools, related to learning technology projects. I have also been involved in team teaching. I have done a lot of work in schools on strategy and curriculum planning. (I wrote a section of the MFL curriculum a few years ago).

    For a variety of reasons, I have come to a crunch point in my life (now 45 years old) and I am looking for a change. I resigned from my last job last month, without a job to go to and I have been doing some voluntary work in the primary school where my children go and I have loved it. I had been thinking about primary teaching for some time (about 5 years), and friends have always asked why I trained for secondary rather than primary.

    However, I seem to have a few problems / questions:
    1) I don't have any current references for teaching. Although I have a string of excellent references from education-related jobs, I don't have the classroom experience. I am hoping that my voluntary work will count, but it is still more like TA work than full teaching responsibility.
    2) My training was for secondary but I would now like to work in primary. Having had my own children and from the experience I have had over the last few years, I love KS2. Most of the jobs I'm seeing advertised are specifiying 'primary trained' (a lot of my work over the years has involved primary schools), but I just don't know if I would be considered.
    3) Where would I be placed on the salary scale? I know I probably can't earn what I was earning in the advisory roles that I was in, but would I have to go 'back to the beginning'? (I never did an NQT year, as they did not exist when I qualified, nor have I done 'threshold'.) Money is not the be all and end all for me, but we do need enough to live on and I am the main earner at home.

    I can only afford to work voluntarily for a couple of months as we are living off savings. I have registered with supply agencies, but they want the 'recent teaching' references, which I may not have for a while.

    Any advice / suggestions / help etc. would be very welcome.

    All the Best
  2. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter



    20 years! Have you taught in a school at all in the last 20 years?

    Education has changed a lot, and to be honest you are basically an untrained teacher . . .


    Untrained in modern teaching that is.

    Let me see your questions - thank you for numbering them.

    Q1 This is Catch 22. You cannot do any teaching without a reference, you cannot get a reference without teaching. There is really very little you can do other than hope that the voluntary work goes well for long enough a period that the school agrees to give references.

    Q2 A common question, I have a ready-made answer

    Moving from secondary to primary

    Q3 A ready-made answer here too

    No more Pay Portability, no more pay scale, no more automatic moving up the scale.

    And without that ready-made answer I could answer anyway: Yes, of course you would have to begin at the bottom, as you have no teaching experience.

    I am really sorry as I know that none of these answers are what you hoped to hear.

    Best wishes

  3. sammylorenzo

    sammylorenzo New commenter

    Hi Kikimora you are not the only one! I am a supply teacher and like you I was trained as Primary Teacher 20 years ago in Spain I came to England to England to learn English as that was my specialism, about 15 years ago I joined an agency and it was allright until I had my daughter and three years later my son. I decided to be a full time mum, when my son started fulltime school I started helping in their school and made me realise that I wanted to go back to work as a teacher, I joined several agencies I had to rely on my children's school and Character references too.
    Join as many agencies as you can, even your local LA and ask the headteacher and the teacher you are helping for references, as for assignments do not be picky to begin with and yes things have change and they are still changing, but it is what you want to do go for it. Good Luck!
  4. kikimora

    kikimora New commenter

    Thanks for the replies Theo and Sammy.
    This is turning out to be far trickier than I had hoped, however, I have now meticulously worked through my last 20-years of experience and I have been able to demonstrate that I am familiar with current practice. I've also been swotting up on the NC and the teaching practice is going well. In the meantime, I have taken a job (teaching adults) on 2-days a week, as I can't afford to pay my way back into teaching through unpaid work, especially when it may be low on the pay scale.
    So, I'll see how it goes.....

  5. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    In certain areas there are shortages of Primary teachers, so you may be able to gain experience via Supply teaching,

    That could provide a reference!

    Best wishes and good luck to you all


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