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Secondary Maths to HE Lecturer

Discussion in 'Career clinic' started by frances1982, Apr 2, 2020.

  1. frances1982

    frances1982 New commenter


    Has anyone made the move from secondary maths teacher to a lecturer in HE? I'm looking for experiences. Wondering if this is a good career move. I don't want to regret leaving a secondary classroom but on the other hand, I figure if I don't enjoy it, I can return to teaching secondary maths.

    Any experiences would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
  2. NorthWest

    NorthWest New commenter

    It certainly depends on what you want to do long term. Have you already made the move/decision?
  3. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Have you checked what qualifications and experience they require for appointment?

    The move may not be as easy as you think.

    Best wishes

    NorthWest likes this.
  4. frances1982

    frances1982 New commenter

    Thanks for the replies. I have applied for a position and have an interview. I'm interested in the differences between the two positions so that I can make an informed choice. Don't want to move to HE and it be a poor career choice.
    NorthWest likes this.
  5. NorthWest

    NorthWest New commenter

    To be honest, I do not know what the career progression is like in HE. Do you have to have a masters and a phd? It may be a lot more work to aquire....
  6. DrJay

    DrJay Occasional commenter

    The term HE used to apply strictly to university e.g. Bristol University and university colleges e.g. Goldsmiths College. In recent years many FEs have mutated to HE on account of offering validated degree courses. E.G. The City of Liverpool College.

    The former are within reason, suitably funded. If appointed as a PGCE tutor, you may not need more than MA/MSc. Schools of Education in the HE sector will be more interested in your teaching and school experience and in you helping to prepare trainee teachers, supervising their placements, etc, etc. You won’t progress far except you complete a PhD and become involved in both teaching and research, ensuring your publications in top rated journals contribute to the RAE. Be prepared for the publish or perish Syndrome.

    The latter (FE offering validated degrees) are underfunded and teachers’ pay in that sector is significantly lower than those in schools. Career progression is also not as good as in schools. For these two reasons, I won’t personally seek positions in FE colleges. If you wish to pursue masters and doctoral degrees or already have these and intend to teach and publish, then HE is a great place to work. In recent years, competition for HE jobs, even for candidates with PhDs, is soul destroying. Most PhDers dreamt landing tenured positions in the HE sector. It didn’t materialise due to disequilibrium between PhD graduates and HE teaching positions. That said, Schools of Education still recruit experienced teachers to prepare ITT students. This will soon change as Researchers in Schools (who already hold PhDs) acquire sufficient years of classroom experience and are in position to land tenured positions in the HE sector.
  7. rolls

    rolls Occasional commenter

    If you do not have a masters already then you will need to commit to studying one in any HE setting, a college or university. I presume you are thinking of working in a Teacher Education department rather than teaching Maths. To teach maths you would need a masters in Maths and preferably a PHD. Teacher Education departments are a better bet if you have had experience off managing a Maths department or trainee teachers as this will be the expertise you are offering. It is hard to get Maths teachers to move into Teacher Education as they are so sought after in school. However, you might either have to take a pay cut ( especially if in FE as stated above) or start in a temporary contract as well paid permanent HE jobs are hard to find for new starters. You might find a permanent post if you are willing to relocate but you should also be aware that the amount of Teacher Education in universities has declined since the introduction of school direct training.

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