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School Direct (salaried) a scam?

Discussion in 'Thinking of teaching' started by Sefton1, Jan 5, 2013.

  1. I am applying to become a primary teacher and have had one interview with an Academy Federation for a School Direct (unsalaried) position. I am coming from self employment (professional training) and really want a salaried position.
    I have two applications for salaried positions in with the Teaching
    Agency portal and both federations say they are short-listing right now
    so I cannot be sure what will happen with those yet. However, the realisation is dawning that the aims of SD(s) to attract people from industry are being subverted by schools and the scheme is this year a bit of scam.
    I (and other people in industry going into teaching with whom I have spoken) naively thought the salaried scheme existed to attract people already in jobs outside teaching, into the profession.Now it seems that all schools are demanding extensive school experience. In fact, they essentially want TEACHERS to apply for this position it appears! Thus the only people they take seriously for the salaried positions are teaching assistants since being a teaching assistant qualifies under the requirement of being in employment for 3 years! And almost none of the teaching assistants applying for SD(s) I have spoken to at open days and other events have worked outside the education sector.
    It seems to me that SD(s) has been subverted into a way for schools to cheaply upgrade their long-standing TAs. I am not sure this was the original purpose.
    Unfortunately for me, it means it will cost me around £20,000 more as a result to train as a teacher (additional cost of 'lost' income of the £20k salary under SD(s) and around £6k student loan minus potential bursaries under unsalaried).
    I wonder what is the experience of those in schools recruiting, those applying for SD(s) and those administering it?

    PS The reason I applied for an unsalaried role was as a fall back in case I did not get interviews for the salaried which I had expected given my belief outlined above. And one can only put in 3 applications via the Teaching Agency portal at one time.
     
    schoolsout4summer likes this.
  2. I am applying to become a primary teacher and have had one interview with an Academy Federation for a School Direct (unsalaried) position. I am coming from self employment (professional training) and really want a salaried position.
    I have two applications for salaried positions in with the Teaching
    Agency portal and both federations say they are short-listing right now
    so I cannot be sure what will happen with those yet. However, the realisation is dawning that the aims of SD(s) to attract people from industry are being subverted by schools and the scheme is this year a bit of scam.
    I (and other people in industry going into teaching with whom I have spoken) naively thought the salaried scheme existed to attract people already in jobs outside teaching, into the profession.Now it seems that all schools are demanding extensive school experience. In fact, they essentially want TEACHERS to apply for this position it appears! Thus the only people they take seriously for the salaried positions are teaching assistants since being a teaching assistant qualifies under the requirement of being in employment for 3 years! And almost none of the teaching assistants applying for SD(s) I have spoken to at open days and other events have worked outside the education sector.
    It seems to me that SD(s) has been subverted into a way for schools to cheaply upgrade their long-standing TAs. I am not sure this was the original purpose.
    Unfortunately for me, it means it will cost me around £20,000 more as a result to train as a teacher (additional cost of 'lost' income of the £20k salary under SD(s) and around £6k student loan minus potential bursaries under unsalaried).
    I wonder what is the experience of those in schools recruiting, those applying for SD(s) and those administering it?

    PS The reason I applied for an unsalaried role was as a fall back in case I did not get interviews for the salaried which I had expected given my belief outlined above. And one can only put in 3 applications via the Teaching Agency portal at one time.
     
  3. I agree but only to an extent. I get the impression that schools offering 1 or 2 places already have a candidate lined up, perhaps an existing teaching assistant and are ticking the boxes so that they are fast=-tracked onto the School Direct (salaried) scheme.

    There are however some consortiums of schools who are offering a far greater number of places. I get the impression that these schools are committed to employing the best available candidates who have obtained a minimum level of experience so that the candidate is certain that teaching is for them.

    I am in a similar position to you and have had one interview and been invited for a further 2. At my first interview, all bar me and one other were teaching assistants and I agree that this is perhaps not what the original intention of the scheme was. If I don't obtain a salaried place, I can't afford to become a teacher so fingers crossed it's not a scam and everything works out :).

    The fact that this is the first year of the scheme probably doesn't help the overall situation but that is little consolation to some.
     
  4. Leapyearbaby64

    Leapyearbaby64 New commenter

    What is the problem with offering places to teaching assistants? These individuals will be graduates who have been working on a very low salary to prove their commitment to education. I'd say they'd be a very strong bet in terms of getting a good payback on training investment.
     
  5. When I visited a school for a day's observation, and spoke about my intention of applying for the salaried position to a teaching assistant, she got shock of her life! Poor soul. According to her, the salaried position demands hands on teaching year groups from day 1. There would'nt be much training as one will get from PGCE course. Unless somebody comes straight from a teaching background (like a teaching assistant), it will be virtually impossible for the person to catch up with everything. Also the position will not give much oppurtunity to learn theory staff. Hmm! Point to note. Isn't it?
    I asked the school direct and they said, a person in a non salaried position will be able to devout same amount of time in the University as a PGCE student will do, where as a person in salaried position will mainly be involved with actual teaching and will be able to spend very few days learning theories or attending Uni.
     
  6. I don't believe people have got candidates lined up, and I definitely don't believe it's who you know, not what you know. I think people are forgetting that School Direct is open to people with different types of teaching experience . People like myself, who have previously worked as an EFL teacher can offer all types of practical experience. I've just secured a place on a salaried program and it was a tough interview, but rightly so!

    It depends on what you can bring to the position, every school wants something different. I think people who are angry that they are not getting interviews or have taken a cut in pay to become a TA should try a different type of teaching! Perhaps you didn't get in because your application wasn't strong enough, there's no point blaming the system just because you were unsuccessful. If you're willing to take a cut to be a TA then perhaps train to be an EFL tutor and travel, add more to your teaching experience and stand out from the crowd for next years applications.
     

  7. I really sympathise, and share your suspicions. Even people with a great deal of teaching experience are receiving rejections. If a school has a certain number of teaching assistants all of whom it would be happy to progress to being NQTs, then it shouldn't pretend to prospective applicants that there are places available. (Or does it have to?) They don't even seem to understand their own selection criteria.
    The other people who've commented and see nothing wrong with this situation should also ask themselves if it's right that Teaching Assistants are effectively handed the reins in this way (albeit to the advantage of their own individual professional development).

     
  8. Whilst I see the idea of schools wanting to support their hard working TAs as they aim for QTS as an extremely positive development, why can this not be done through a different (closed) system?

    As someone who is trying to switch careers into secondary English teaching, all I can ask for is a level playing field. One in which vacancies that are advertised have not been earmarked for internal candidates. A system whereby TAs can progress to QTS internally (GTP anyone? ) and other SD vacancies were reserved for external applicants would surely be manageable. Whilst this would result in fewer SD positions being advertised, surely it would encourage applications from more career changers who may have something to contribute to the sector...
     
  9. Muttley_in_the_Midlands

    Muttley_in_the_Midlands New commenter

    SD is a different beast wherever you go.
    I am on SD, unsalaried, having come from industry. I must have been mad!
    I spent the best part of last year going into a school one day per week to gain experience which has helped significantly this year.
    My SD is that I am on a PGCE doing exactly the same as the PGCE students. We have very little contact time at uni though. We teach a 50% timetable and have to do assignments and learn theory on top. Pretty much like a GTP in fact. The difference with the PGCE students is that the uni finds their placements. My SD consortium finds mine.
    Don't believe the advertising -"SD will train you in outstanding schools." No it does not. Both my schools are what I call "behaviour schools". Both are rated "Good" by Ofsted whereas the attitude of so many pupils is anything but good.
     
  10. A huge thanks for all the candid and incisive opinions/experiences here.
    Since posting I have been offered an unsalaried position with a local academy grouping.
    Your posts have really helped me overcome the feeling of being on my own on this journey, even if they have not assuaged my fears regarding SD.
    As a further caveat, I have in a few days an interview for one of the SD(s) so I may yet be forced to eat my words. A couple of people here in a similar position to me appear to have come through the process with confirmed places so that does give me hope. Knowing I have an unsalaried place in the bag gives me a bit more confidence too.
    As a professional trainer, I am hoping that it is credible that I can be thrown in at the deep end with teaching from day one (on SDu).
    The only real practical difference between SD(u) and PGCE seems to be that you are much more likely to walk into a job a the end of the process with SD(u) even though one won't have spent as much time on the theory and contact time.
     
  11. Hi
    It is good to see that you are applying for teacher training as those with industry experience can bring those skills into the classroom. Schools do look for educational experience but all candidates are evaluated fairly. Schools should take the lead in interviewing and selecting candidates and all candidates must meet the standard entry requirements of the school's chosen accredited initial teacher training provider and be approved by the provider. Recruitment activities should be high quality, open and transparent and will be subject to inspection by Ofsted.
    Good luck with your application.

    Charlie Taylor, Teaching Agency
     
  12. I have now been on an interview for a SD(s) place and received the response, being a 'no'. For fear of this seeming like sour grapes, I think there is value in putting into the public domain my eye-opening experience.
    On that interview the assistant head noted, surprised, that I "had not had 3 years' experience as a TA" but that I had still been asked in for an interview. The IoE representative accompanying her rather red-faced explained that the qualification was 3 years' experience salaried work of any kind. Hmmm - clearly the AH wanted TAs but why then did they ask me for interview? And why did the AH allow me to be asked for interview if this was a criterion?
    I undertook a 30 min lesson with 8 children. In the interview they noted how good I was with the children, how imaginative and effective were my materials, how enthusiastic was my style but then they proceeded - in the interview itself, mind, not subsequently and without prompting - to pull apart all the mistakes they believed I had made. While I did not vocalise the observation - the only people that would not have made the mistakes would actually already have been teachers. Surely the point of SD is to TRAIN up the teachers? I was open about the deficiencies in my experience and even explicitly said that a TA would be a "lower risk" so they would need to be interested in me for my potential and the qualities I bring as someone from outside teaching.
    I asked about two thirds of the way through, how I was doing. It was very apparent that their appalling interview technique was far from intended to allow me to display my potential and more about them highlighting my deficiencies. Their response to my question? "You are the worst we have seen so far". I am rarely left speechless but it is an understatement to say I was surprised with their candour! (I look forward to posts highlighting the fact - that I accept - that they might have been correct!)
    In the commercial world I would politely have stood up and thanked them for their time - a school with this undermining attitude was not one I wanted to work in. They required me to undertake literacy and numeracy tests (in addition to the Teaching Agency/Pearson ones that they knew I had passed). At his point I acknowledged that it appeared they had already decided I was not suitable so would it not be a best use of their busy schedules to skip this bit and for me to leave. No, they said, if I "excelled" in the tests they may be able to consider me! Clearly, my subsequent rejection proved me right.
    Setting aside the waste of a half day for me and them, this process was not intended to reveal me as hidden teacher gem.
    This may be a sample of 1 when it comes to SD(s) interviews but I am determined to find a school or federation that will take me seriously. I am undertaking my Primary Experience Programme at a wonderful "outstanding" school where one of the leadership team explained their approach to SD(s) and it is exactly what I had eventually hoped to hear. So their is light at the end of the tunnel. Hope springs.
    I am responding the oft stated need to get in-school experience with a day a week volunteering at a local primary. I will continue applying for SD(s) accepting that it is so vastly superior to the unsalaried route that it is worth pulling out the stops to get a salaried place. Almost certainly this means applying again for the 2014/15 intake and taking a career break.
    But the journey to get here has highlighted a shocking lack of consistency between teaching establishments, lack of basic courtesy when it comes to dealing with applicants, appalling interviewing processes and woeful communication between the various institutions. All the more reason to get more people from industry into the teaching profession, I would say! Far from being deterred; I am more resolved to pursue this goal.

     
  13. prettynails84

    prettynails84 New commenter

    I can tell you my experiences as I am undecided about whether SDS is a scam, so I would be interested in hearing responses from others applying. I applied for three SDS routes into secondary school teaching 2014-15 entry. I have two degrees and am completing my third in the CORE subject I wish to teach - worst case scenario I will get a 2.1 in that degree but I already have a 2.1 in a similar subject. I have years of experience in admin, accountancy and education as cover supervisor and teacher of both degree subjects. I have excellent references. I am late 20s. I interview well.

    Firstly, I disliked the application form. It is designed for new graduates ? not someone with life experience and more than one degree. For my current degree I am not allowed to write my predicted grade, just ?PENDING? so unless they ask my university for a transcript which takes extra time, no one can see I?m aiming for a 1st/ 2.1 class honours degree. Instead I had to detail this in my personal statement which doesn?t give much space to write, especially if you have more experience and consequently more to say. For my other two degrees I could not include my grades ?again limiting. The form is also a hangover from the days of GTP/ UCAS where universities needed to know about conditions/ illnesses etc. I understand why they need this information but do they have to place it at the front of the form right underneath your name? It reads name, condition, degree, etc, statement, references. I don?t have anything problematic but it is really limiting and brutal. It gives a negative skewed view by presenting data in that order. I do wonder why this information is not placed at the back of the form with race, sexual orientation and all other sensitive data which should not be viewed straight away by an employer. This design encourages a system for discrimination. I?m not saying employers/ schools are discriminating, but it doesn?t help and appears to be bad practice.

    I knew each school could and would assess candidates differently and within days I got my first 'interview' - the experience of which was awful. There were many candidates for all subjects for SCITT and SDS, most (young graduates) for the former and three of us for the latter where my subject was over-represented. I only found out two days beforehand that I had an interview through UCAS and only the day before did I get a letter explaining what I needed to do. Luckily I bumped into a candidate through university who showed me their letter so I had a clue, but this was still prejudicial to me being only two days beforehand. That candidate worked at the school where the consortium was based. I wondered how they received a letter and I did not. I could have declined to attend the assessment day at that time but leaving it later meant the possibility of less places - so I agreed. I gave an average presentation for two minutes to a large panel of teachers and candidates. I felt it was average and regretted agreeing to attend on such late notice, but feedback did not suggest this was my problem. The candidate who worked there stuttered a bit, but was kindly reassured it was fine by the course leader who obviously knew them very well. Then we had to watch a video and write about it before discussing it in teams. I thought this went reasonably well. Then SCITT candidates got an interview there and then, whereas SDS candidates were dismissed unless they made it to stage 2 interviews. The consortium had to accept us before lead schools could even interview us. As I had no opportunity to explain my background due to the limiting application form, coupled with the fact they did not ask my university for a transcript - I was very unhappy and knew it was a waste of my morning. I think the candidate who already worked there was ear-marked for the job although I do not know this for sure. I am happy for them, but if I?m right I don?t like having my time wasted by a bad faith process. Even if this is inaccurate, on rejection my feedback said I had a ?strong personality?. Whilst I do have opinions I thought being questioned meant I should give an opinion? They made this decision after seeing all of 10 minutes of me talking and answering questions (they couldn?t criticise my credentials could they!) I never found out if anyone got the SDS place or not ? but I left feeling very used and misjudged.

    Next interview went better. I bumped into a candidate whom I knew from the first ?assessment? process. They applied for SCITT and got an offer. I?m sure they are great ? but they are still at university with little school experience which seemed at odds to me. On this day I felt my interview and written exercise went really well, aided by the fact I was asked to explain my background in detail because they could not understand the UCAS form. However, this interview process did not involve me teaching in a classroom or meeting students. I was left in the staffroom for a while and teachers there told me of mixed experiences with different training providers - one of which was that from the first shambolic ?assessment? process. They said they were very ?hands on? (gestured to mean micro-managers) so they obviously wanted someone compliant and malleable ? not heartening to hear. I thought I did well but I was rejected here too. I got a phone call and I said ?That?s a shame. What did the other candidate have that I didn?t have and how can I improve?? ?You were um?too?we didn?t feel you would fit into our school?. ?What do you mean?? I asked. ?How can I improve?? ?You were exuberant? he said. ?Okay, how can I improve?? ?You answered the questions very well and your experience and credentials are excellent. I?m not sure you can improve. You may be suitable for another school?. They went for one of the SCITT candidates as I was the only SDS candidate there. It is possible I spoke too much and that I was too enthusiastic. Sure. I take that on board, and will tone myself down if I get anymore interviews. Nevertheless, I had the most experience and credentials and answered the questions well. Yet they didn?t hire me because they didn?t like me. Did they put me in front of children once? No. Did they read my reference where I?ve been observed teaching? This interviewer did the former did not. Did they actually give me a lesson plan to analyse or devise? No. Not once has either process incorporated these things and aren?t these the skills I need to develop? How I present, interview and engage with adults is different to how I engage with students ? you?d hope so, no?

    Now I must wait on my third choice which has until February to ?time out? before I?m stuck with ?one at a time? applications. By then who knows which schools will even have an SDS place available. I asked Essex ITT who reckoned there were fewer SDS places available for 2014-15 entry.

    Therefore, I cannot be sure from these experiences if;

    1. Schools have internal candidates earmarked for posts and are just ticking the boxes wrt the ?interview? process. Or if,

    2. SDS is a scam and schools would rather take a SCITT/ fee paying student instead of paying for someone out of their own coffers. Or if,

    3. There are so many candidates it is not about your abilities, skills and passion for education ? it?s about if your face fits and if they like you.

    I do not write this out of resentment or as a desire to craft rumours. I am passionate about what I do (I already teach but can?t train at that institution as they don?t train there). I intend to secure a training place at a school and am genuinely wondering if selecting SDS was the right thing to do? Would I get an offer if I had selected SD or SCITT? I wanted to get started straight away with a timetable, but am wondering if I made a mistake? Has anyone else had similar experiences as me?
     
  14. I think it really does depend on what the school is looking for and what the training provider has specified - the school I applied for specified 15 days recent classroom experience, I only had 5. I have no teaching experience and other than the 5 days I spent observing lessons prior to my application haven't set foot in a school since I left 7 years ago. I got offered a place to start in September on Salaried School Direct because they could see potential. Don't be put off by thinking TAs are taking all the roles!
     
  15. Reply to "Therefore, I cannot be sure from these experiences if;

    1. Schools have internal candidates earmarked for posts and are just ticking the boxes wrt the ?interview? process. Or if,

    2. SDS is a scam and schools would rather take a SCITT/ fee paying student instead of paying for someone out of their own coffers. Or if,

    3. There are so many candidates it is not about your abilities, skills and passion for education ? it?s about if your face fits and if they like you."

    Points 1, 2 and partly 3 struck a cord with me, and what I heard from my girlfriends interview.

    What she explain to have happened seem shocking as an outsider:

    On the day she was tested and interviewed for an SD salaried place. There was some observations she made that not only pointed towards the points you made, but also made the whole day seem possibly pointless if the certain candidates are taken on.

    On the board of interviewers & observers of the tests was two head teachers, each bringing there own candidates with them from there own separate schools. (As in driven in together too).

    That is understandable to help push those candidates and help them, however 2 things come to light that was shocking:

    - with the option of multiple head teachers and teachers on the board, the corresponding head teacher observed, and took part in interviewing the candidate they literally came with from their own school. IS THIS NOT BREAKING A RULE? They could have swapped them out with another interviewer and observer to avoid prejudice but they had not.

    -not only that but one of these two candidates said how the head teacher for their school told them the questions in the interview before they were asked, and what are good scoring answers.

    Helping your on TA's makes perfect sense but being assigned to be observed and interviewed by them surely is grounds for a complaint?

    The saddest part is my girlfriend has been a TA for 2 years and also teaches some lessons to learning difficulty students, she passed the first round tests that day (there was tests in a knockout round she had to pass to get to be interviewed in the afternoon) and due to a poor effort of discretion she saw her interview score cards in the interview and she didn't get a bad score. In fact nearly all top marks.

    I understand that it is based on the candidate all round not just scores and how good they are with the students, or how good the presentation is.

    However has anyone else noticed a similar situation with internal candidates?

    Ideally does anyone here know of internal candidates being observed or interviewed by teachers from their own school?

    Also is this not breaking any kind of SD rules?

    Apologies if I make any spelling or grammar mistakes, I'm no teacher and I hope it doesn't distract from the sentiment of the message and questions.

    Please give feedback, or at least keep an eye out for similar situations in your interviews. I hate the idea that this continues at this school or indeed anywhere else.
     
  16. glenn_xp

    glenn_xp New commenter

    Lots of 1. But also some of 3.



    I don't know what people think about this but if, lets say, Mary has worked at Bloggsworth school for 5 years and Bloggsworth school want to train her as a teacher then they should be allowed to apply for a place for her within their allocation of training places and just give the place straight to her without it ever being advertised anywhere. She has earned it after all. (this also applies to people being promoted in any job where they advertise the job externally even though they know who they want to give it to) This approach might dramatically decrease the number of SD Salaried places available but at least we would know that the ones on UCAS are genuine and have a fair chance of being picked and not waste our apply 1 applications on non starters.

    For one of my choices I was offered an interview and then emailed back 2 days before the interview date to withdraw the interview because place had been filled. Someone must have been pretty amazing to get appointed before they had even seen all the candidates.

    If I don't get in this year then next year I will have one last go and apply to the big universities that have 10 to 20 places available instead of chasing one or two places on school direct. In hindsight I should have made one of my choices a multi place banker place, but you live and learn.
     
  17. I thought I would come back on here to update on my applications and have read all the posts on this thread. Wow. I do feel my worst fears were not unfounded.

    As I write, I have gone through the latest round of applications for a 2014 start to SDS and have verbally been offered a place. To say I am delighted is an understatement. As is to say I am pleasantly surprised.

    Interestingly, I was offered interviews for SDS at both groupings to which I applied (two of my favoured schools offering places were in the same grouping so I decided to make an app to each). I have been told over the phone that I was unsuccessful in the second interview. As it happens, I had already been offered the place in School 1 when I was offered the interview with School 2. Being a born pessimist, since I had not had the offer in writing, I thought it would be prudent to attempt to keep my options open. I STILL have not had the School 1 offer in writing although 2 emails confirm the offer, which is of course legally binding.

    I won't even go down the comparison of this year's UCAS-led application process compared to last year's Teaching Agency-led process. But rubbish and rubbisher describe them respectively and politely. I will be making a formal representation to the DoE about how shockingly cynical, disorganised and unfair this year's application process has been.

    My experience of the interview processes resonates with some echoed here. "Utterly amatuerish" springs to mind. Biased as I am, the school grouping that offered me the place seemed the most professional. But in both cases I only had a few working days' notice of the interview. In the case of School 2, the interview involved a badly-worded request to make a 7 minute presentation on a couple of YouTube videos. The presentation was made to 3 teachers. Quite WHAT an interviewer for a teacher training post can learn from that I do not know. Surely something involving presenting to children would make more sense (as one of my 2012 interviews)?

    Hopefully all's well that ends well. My efforts to snag a paid training to get into teaching seem to have been fruitful. I was determined to make the career change by hook or by crook and financially this is by far the best option. I WANT to be infront of the children as soon as possible and accept there will be 2 years of humungous workload. I truly believe it will be worthwhile and the first agonising step on a hugely rewarding career. If not, I'll be back on here to let everyone know.
     
  18. My experience with School Direct has been dreadful. I have been a TA for five years after many years of work experience in other industries. I applied for a salaried position in three different schools and got an interview in all three. Did a good lesson in the first school but not a great interview so I was not surprised when I was turned down, however the feedback was way too harsh. Anyway, I took it in a constructive way and addressed the issues on my second. There the interview went well but my lesson was only judged as "satisfactory". I was graded "C" overall and was told that another candidate had obtained a "B". I assumed the other candidate got the job and though that that was fair. The third interview was very good and so was the lesson. I was praised and the panel also asked me about some of the material I had used during my lesson and thought to suggest other teachers to use it. I was graded "B+", which means that my lesson had been valued at least as "good". I was also told by the school that, despite being the strongest candidate, the university representative refused to allow me in the scheme as they would only allow candidates that obtained an "A". At this point the logic of the process became totally unclear to me and I started thinking that this scheme - if not a scam - is certainly very badly run. My questions are: did the university not communicate the entry criteria to the school before hand or did the school lied to me with regard to the rejection? How can someone who has not yet been formally trained but is applying for training pull out an "outstanding" lesson (requirement to obtain an "A")? I know very few teachers (even those who have been in the profession for years) capable of outstanding lessons and even those would not be capable of making each lesson outstanding, let alone in a class they step foot for the first time. It seems to me that there is little or no communication between providers and schools and that both candidates and schools have been tricked by a system that makes it nearly impossible for a candidate to access a salaried position. It's a scheme that exists only as a good window. I read last year statistics and found out that only a very small part of the available places had been filled. I cannot afford to go into full time education and it seems pointless at this point to pursue salaried positions further. I feel very bitter about it.
     
  19. I applied for two salaried places. One of them I never heard from and the other one invited me for an interview. One week before the interview, they told me the NCTL had withdrawn its funding for this SD place so they could not offer the place anymore.

    In effect, I've applied for a place that does not exist anymore and UCAS won't allow me to substitute this place with another choice. Although I got a place on a PGCE, I feel I missed out as I effectively only had two choices in my application.
     
  20. Gerbils150

    Gerbils150 New commenter

    Having now had an interview with the second school I'd applied to for SD(s) and been turned down, I have come to the conclusion that this is certainly less transparent than it seems to be on the tin. My first SD(s) interview was pointless for reasons I won't bore you with here. My second was yesterday. I'd been on the tour of the two schools and got some very strong verbal encouragement from the Head. My maths test was 100% although they thought my English was a little poor in terms of content, but not a deal breaker. My group interview as good however apparently I failed (or at least was judged 4th out of 6) because I didn't give enough evidence of varied experience in schools. Hello! The entry requirements are 10 days in school. I more than satisfy that by volunteering one day per week since Sept, plus 2 weeks in June 2013. So I ticked the box, but it seems the box changed. There were two TAs in the group of six..... I wonder??? They then explained that the school had applied for four places but then found out yesterday (the day of the interviews!) that they wouldn't receive funding for the tuition fees for the students and had therefore reduced their intake to three.

    Moving goal posts, lack of transparency, rules keep changing....

    And then the clincher from today's feedback call was that they want to be able to have people who are experienced enough to stand up in front of a class and teach from day 1. Err....they are called NQTs or QTS aren't they?? Not students?

    I have a PGCE place in the bag. Perhaps I just take that and say thank you very much. Perhaps this is a lucky escape. It is frustrating though that a scheme which aims to attract those with work experience into teaching really isn't as straight forward as it appears to be and that there is a network of "shadow rules" in the background.
     

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