Hi, I am planning to apply for a secondary PGCE (biology) next year, to hopefully start training in 2017. I know how tough its going to be but I've thought it through and I'm at the point where I need to at least give it a try. I'm putting it off until my youngest is in year 1 so I'm around to get her settled into reception. My dad retires that year too and has offered to help with childcare. So I have a year until I start applying and I'd really like to get more school experience in that time. I currently work very part time in an FE/HE college teaching GCSE Biology evening classes and the odd BTEC unit (all adult or post-16 classes) and I will see whether I can increase my hours at the college but they are cutting PTVH staff atm. I have 3 years teaching experience but I have only spent 2 weeks in secondary schools and I'd really like to spend more time in a school before starting my training. I'm just not sure of the best way to approach schools. Ideally I'd like to actually do something useful rather than just sit and observe (I mean be an extra pair of hands for practicals or help with setting up - I realise I can't teach). I was planning to apply to schools as a volunteer but I have been told that secondary schools rarely use volunteers. Someone suggested either applying to be a cover supervisor or applying to an agency as a supply TA. The cover supervisor positions all seem to be full time and I'd rather stick to shorter days or 2-3 days max if possible but I'll watch for part time positions. I know my training and NQT years will be VERY full time so I want to be there for some school pick ups, assemblies etc until then. TA positions are very competitive and I'm not sure I have the right experience, even for supply. I'd really appreciate any thoughts or any other ideas for ways to get into a school. TIA.