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SCITT accepted by international schools?

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by missbooks2, Sep 25, 2019.

  1. missbooks2

    missbooks2 New commenter

    I'm planning to apply for teacher training commencing 2020, with the hopes of eventually teaching in an international school (probably somewhere in Europe). I have been considering gaining my PGCE through doing a SCITT course rather than a university-based one, however I am worried that a PGCE attained through SCITT will not be accepted by international schools. Does anyone have any experience of this? I am really nervous about being stuck teaching only in the UK!
    Thank you :)
  2. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    I have sent you one of those TES Conversation things.
  3. Mlockwood81

    Mlockwood81 New commenter

    I completed my PGCE via SCITT and you just have to check you get the level 7 (postgraduate) qualification rather than the level 6 (professional) qualification, as that would hinder your options abroad. Both will come with QTS.

    I was at a school that had SCITT and "traditional" University route and much preferred my route but it's what you make of either route that matters.
  4. Mlockwood81

    Mlockwood81 New commenter

    Forgot to add... My PGCE certificate just mentions the accrediting University (Herts). It doesn't even mention I went through a SCITT route...
  5. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    The most "preferred" teaching qualifications for international schools is the traditional full time university based PGCE and the BEd, followed by completing your NQT/Probation/Induction year. This will enable you to obtain a working visa in any civilized country in the world.

    Any other teaching qualification is open to interpretation. If you want to future proof your internal teaching career I would follow the traditional PGCE qualification.
  6. Mlockwood81

    Mlockwood81 New commenter

    The SCITT route gains you a full PGCE and is issued by a University that accredits the course. There is no difference in the qualification you will receive. However, some routes (SCITT or University) may only gain you a level 6 Professional Graduate Certificate of Education and not a level 7 Postgraduate Certificate of Education.

    I would not entertain the level 6 PGCE, as this will limit your options.

    I also trained with a group of students who trained via a local University and my theoretical pedogogy element was more in depth than what they received. Although I imagine that will vary by providers, so again ask to speak with some current and/or former students.

    I would also say the B.Ed is not a route into secondary teaching, as you will not have the relevant subject specialism. Once qualified, and are looking to progress up the SLT ladder, a M.Ed would be beneficial...

  7. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    A BEd is not common for secondary but is possible depending on the qualifications you already possess on entering the course. I know a teacher who had a HND in chemistry and during their BEd did extra modules to obtain a Chemistry Degree and now is a chemistry teacher and HoD of the Science Department.
  8. missbooks2

    missbooks2 New commenter

    This is really helpful, thank you very much! The SCITT course I want to do says you get a PGCE (postgraduate certificate of education) with Master’s credits - is this what is meant by level 7? :)
  9. englishtt06

    englishtt06 Occasional commenter

    A couple of years ago only the traditional PGCE was recognised by Australia - this could have changed since then (and it could only be certain Australian states). Some countries/visa requirements dictate five-six years of Higher Education (which can be the undergrad and PGCE combined; or a Masters-level qualification). When it comes to SCITT-style training (which used to be called GTP back in the day!), whilst it would PROBABLY be okay (but does vary by country etc.) the traditional PGCE has ALWAYS been okay. So, if you wanted to err on the side of caution, go traditional.

    There will be many folks who have gone down SCITT-style routes and gained international positions (and doubtless will post on this thread); but occasionally there will be a cry from someone whose on-the-job training has prevented them from their dream location (the ones I remember were mostly Australia and the State requirements such as Queensland - but I could be wrong as it's not a place I want to work personally so haven't paid that much attention).

    I faced a similar question back in the early noughties when I went into teacher-training; it would have been much easier (financially) to have completed the GTP at the time but I erred on the side of caution as I didn't want to find out that one day a country is blocked to me (never say never!). The Russell Group uni PGCE has helped in my international career (well, I think so) - particularly for more traditional recruiters. If I was to generalise, good international schools tend to favour anything more academic over vocational - it doesn't matter if certain PGCEs contain less theory or not (all PGCEs are different) - it's what it says on the tin. And the better the tin (university) the easier. Which leads me to my final point - you need to be as competitive as possible: schools do seem to prefer certain 'named' universities and qualifications over others (my Oxbridge friends ALWAYS get interviews!) etc . Though not all schools can afford to be that picky, I don't see the logic in limiting yourself unnecessarily.

    Put it this way: if the only thing standing between you and another candidate was a qualification a HT recognised and one they didn't - which do you think they will go for?

    Poor metaphors aside, if you are maths or physics then a pulse and an un-ironed shirt will be all you need: any other phase or subject, be more discerning.
  10. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    It is difficult. You need a compelling reason to do a SCITT. There are extra risks in the SCITT programme over the HEI-led PGCE and anyone trying to persuade you otherwise is doing you no favours. Let us be clear, it is perfectly possible to undertake a SCITT based course, achieve a L7 PGCE and take a role in an international school. It’s just more risky than the HEI led route.

    On most courses you get two qualifications - QTS and a L7 PGCE. The HEIs specialise in PGCEs - they are set up to deliver a whole range of post graduate courses. If the PGCE element is more important to you, due to wanting to work abroad, you would reduce your risk by taking your PGCE in a HEI led course. There is nothing wrong with a SCITT. But a HEI course lets you spend a day a week at uni, with specialist staff, getting your PGCE. That’s why there is less risk for the PGCE.
  11. Mlockwood81

    Mlockwood81 New commenter

    I think some of the above posters don't know how the many different SCITT routes work.

    You can gain a level 6 Professional Graduate Certificate in Education via SCITT. I think that is quite similar to the GTP entry route but that is before my time... This would limit your options in teaching abroad.

    A SCITT can also team up with a University to provide a level 7 Postgraduate Certificate in Education, and like going via a university lead route, the student teacher has to attend weekly lectures to develop their pedogogy.

    For my course, this entailed applying the lecture content to assigned articles from education research and writing fortnightly assignments, linking it to my own teaching practice. We then had two major assignments to complete based around a particular pedogogy aspect and our own teaching.

    You are then issued a PGCE accredited by said university. It does not mention what route you took to gain the qualification. It just simply states Postgraduate Certificate in Education.

    As I started above, this was miles more in depth than some students I trained with who were going via the traditional university route. However, I imagine this will vary greatly depending on which SCITT is running the course. Mine was quite a major SCITT and enroll 60+ students a year for Secondary alone.
  12. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    It doesn't matter as someone with a nice cheap iPGCE will be employed for the job at half the salary and benefits.
    yasf likes this.
  13. amysdad

    amysdad Established commenter

    A BEd can be done for secondary - if you do it at one of the Scottish universities you can get the degree, do your probation year, and then be released into the wild. It can cause problems though for countries which insist on having a degree in your teaching subject (eg UAE) if it's not a joint honours degree with, say, History or Physics.

    Like I always say, the best route is to obtain your degree and PGCE / PGDE in the UK, then complete a couple of years teaching before you move abroad. You will be more confident in the classroom and more able to overcome the inevitable bumps which are ahead of you.
  14. englishtt06

    englishtt06 Occasional commenter

    Possibly; but we have a good idea of how international teaching recruitment works (I've worked in several internationally) and that's kind of the point (the make-up of the qualification is almost irrelevant in the recruitment market!). The OP asked which was better for their international prospects and - from our experience of working overseas - we understand how these things apply in practice.... Personally, as a HoD who recruits; whilst I wouldn't overly care about the where/how the PGCE has been obtained (I tend to lend more weight to the interview and lesson observation on the day of recruitment; supported by excellent subject-knowledge) I know that for many schools who aren't as 'intune' with the UK, if you have to 'explain' (or justify) your qualification then you're already on the back foot. In a very competitive market where some positions attract hundreds of applicants, why take that chance if you don't have to?
  15. englishtt06

    englishtt06 Occasional commenter

    I should also point out that my former HT (with whom I would recruit) was obsessed with qualifications - where the degrees were obtained, their specialist areas and the type of training for teaching; whereas I didn't pay it much attention as long as they met the criteria (and the HT always had final say - so read into that what you will). Ultimately, though, I work/worked in countries where the type of teacher training didn't affect visa applications; but it does in some - so again, why take the risk and limit your options if you have the choice?
    MrMedia likes this.
  16. yasf

    yasf Established commenter

    No, the GTP involved weekly lectures and was also linked to a university.
  17. missbooks2

    missbooks2 New commenter

    Hi guys, thank you so much for all the responses! I’m consequently now leaning more towards the uni-lead PGCE route, as this seems to be the ideal, however there is unfortunately only one uni in my area which offers the course I want to do. If I were to not receive an offer from this uni, would obtaining a level 7 PGCE via a SCITT be a reasonable back-up route? for context I’d like to teach in European countries eg Germany :)

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