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Secondary NQT year in a different subject specialism

Discussion in 'NQTs and new teachers' started by kthrnsswg, Feb 1, 2019.

  1. kthrnsswg

    kthrnsswg New commenter

    Hi everyone,

    I'm a current PGCE SCITT trainee in Secondary MFL, generally really enjoying the course and teaching! I had my first interview yesterday for a MFL post and I was rejected due to 'lack of subject knowledge'. I got some feedback, the lesson was fine, and most of the interview was great except for a section conducted in the TL which I just wasn't expecting and didn't answer to the best of my ability.

    Subject knowledge has never been an issue on either of my two placements, so it's a little concerning to be rejected for a job because of this and I'm going to try and remedy it ASAP using Rosetta Stone and maybe doing an intensive language study abroad in half term.

    However, I have a nagging feeling that I've chosen to teach the wrong subject. I have a joint BA Hons in MFL and English Language and a MA in Creative Writing (Literary Fiction), and having studied the NC for English, I believe I have the subject knowledge to teach English instead. English would give me the opportunity of working in many more schools than my MFL specialism does, as my main language is dying out in the area I live and work in.

    I'm booked into speak to my ITT co- ordinator tomorrow and I'm going to ask her about this, and whether I can arrange to go and observe English lessons in my frees and maybe teach a few...

    My question is really whether anyone has any experience of applying for NQT jobs in a different subject specialism? My understanding is that once I obtain QTS, I can teach any subject I have appropriate subject knowledge of in theory, but how does that work in practice?
  2. meggyd

    meggyd Star commenter

    If you cant teach French you are very unlikely to find an mfl post. Spanish alsouseful but if all you can offer is German i think you will struggle in mfl
  3. kthrnsswg

    kthrnsswg New commenter

    I can do French and German, but French to KS3 only.
  4. peter12171

    peter12171 Star commenter

    It’s certainly possible. I trained to teach history, but all my posts since qualifying have been teaching English. Whilst I have struggled with my NQT year, subject knowledge has never been raised as an issue. If your subject knowledge is good enough, you shouldn’t hold back from applying.
    pepper5 likes this.
  5. meggyd

    meggyd Star commenter

    French only to Ks3 is the issue. As a hod I would suspect that your subject knowledge is insufficient. Do you have French A level?
  6. minnie me

    minnie me Star commenter

    From my experience you seriously disadvantage yourself if you are restricted in your ‘ languages ‘ . I know this is a shortage subject area but you are in competition with other specialists who may offer two or three to KS4 and A level. French rightly / wrongly is the dominant MFL much of the time and when the timetable needs to be filled your limitations may have your HoD struggle - not a great option. Good Luck though whatever you decide. Maybe consider a switch to English - different type of pressure I think
  7. kthrnsswg

    kthrnsswg New commenter

    Update: just been offered an English role and have accepted - was right for me!
    MathMan1 and emethomas89 like this.
  8. claire_ann_lloyd

    claire_ann_lloyd New commenter

    I've just had a similar experience... at interview for health and social they said I will have to do a certain amount of science to pass NQT year... As Science is my specialism! Is that true?
  9. lauradora93

    lauradora93 New commenter


    I am sort of in the opposite position. I have a degree in French and English, on the PGCE in English but have been offered a job with French and a little English. Can anyone confirm that I can complete NQT year if I change subject? Not sure how many lessons of English it would be.

  10. lauradora93

    lauradora93 New commenter


    Did you ever find out if you had to do science with your role?
  11. kthrnsswg

    kthrnsswg New commenter

    If it helps I got the English job and I am in my second term now! MFL makes up 7% of my timetable. The other 93% is all English!
  12. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    You don't have to be teaching any of your specialists in order to pass Induction. However, no allowances are made for undertaking it in another subject or another key stage. You have to meet the exact same standards in the specialism/key stage that an NQT trained in that area must meet.
    peter12171 likes this.

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