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Secondary to Primary/Infant

Discussion in 'Career clinic' started by bawjohnson, Nov 5, 2015.

  1. bawjohnson

    bawjohnson New commenter

    Hi all, @TheoGriff :)

    I'm facing redundancy as a secondary music teacher (cheers arts-hating government o_O) and jobs as an arts teacher seem to be a poisoned chalice nowadays, with viability pressures and having to do more with less, plus the neglect of the arts as far as the EBacc goes it seems the writing's on the wall - so rather that hopping from frying pan to fire, I have often been told that I'd make a really good lower key stage teacher, either primary or infant, and with an arts specialism people reckon a lot of schools would be interested in me, due to being able to lead arts initiatives, extra curricular etc.. So have been thinking;

    Obviously I have a secondary PGCE and have little hands on experience of the Primary or Infant sector, current school is a High School as well, therefore is only Y9 up, again limiting early KS3 involvement.. I also have a TLR as Dep. Head of Sixth Form so do have higher level management experience, but doubt this would translate directly to a more senior role in primary/infant, seeing as I don't have the 'ground up' experience (unless that may be an advantage, to have an 'outsider's' point of view..?)

    Just wanted to reach out and see if there was anybody or anybody knew of anyone who had done this before and what route they took?

    My thinking is perhaps to seek employment as a TA in primary or infant for a year or so and use the extra time and mental capacity to get some serious experience and research done all over, then translate that into an application for classroom teacher? Would people reckon that this would be the most logical route?


  2. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    Hullo there @bawjohnson and welcome to the forum.

    Now about this proposed move . . .

    Almost nil hope of getting a promoted post in my view. Would you expect someone who had been a KS2 co-ordinator to come in as Head of Sixth? No, and quite right too!

    Possibly . . . but would you expect a Primary teacher who had become an Art Technician to get a job as a teacher of Art to yr 11? No, and quite right too!

    I'm trying to translate your ideas into a turned-round situation, to show you how they might perceive them in a Primary school.

    Best thing would be to read this, my Blue Peter here's one I prepared earlier, because this is a very common query.

    Moving from secondary to primary

    Best wishes

  3. teacha

    teacha Occasional commenter

    This is a common question, and I always give my answer! I was a secondary school teacher (in the arts too!), who transferred to primary for similar reasons. I started off by doing primary day to day supply, which led to longer term roles. Primary schools still use qualified supply teachers (regardless of whether they are secondary or primary trained), rather than unqualified cover supervisors, so my advice would be to join supply agencies and dip your toe into primary work that way. Good luck!
    midnight_angel likes this.
  4. shinyshapter

    shinyshapter New commenter

    Hi B
    Don't despair!
    I know of 2 excolleagues who were at high schools who have gone into slt posts jn primary and middle schools without retraining.
    Think about how many of your skills may be transferable .
    I moved from upper school teaching at middle management level to special education ( BESD) .
    I found myself teaching what was effectively primary level English, Drama and History ( and anything else required of me) to some of the most challenging students in the county.
    I made the move because I wanted a change and a challenge!
    Remember, if you're an experienced teacher you have many transferable skills. BTW many of the teachers at our special school are primary trained and teach up to GCSE and do a great job.
  5. teacha

    teacha Occasional commenter

    The Head teacher at a primary school that I worked at had previously been a secondary school teacher, and the Head teacher at a secondary school that I worked at had previously been a primary school Head teacher, so it can be done.
  6. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Yes, it can be done, as my linked article says.

    But there's no use pretending that it is commonly done, nor easy . . .

    Best wishes


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