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Secondary to Primary school

Discussion in 'Primary' started by helendavealex, Apr 15, 2019.

  1. helendavealex

    helendavealex New commenter

    I am a Secondary and Post 16 teacher keen to move to Primary. I have been working on Supply for over a year now following 14 years in Secondary and think a switch is great for me as I have been doing SATS 1 to 1 Level 2 maths tuition and love it. Can anyone recommend which organisations are best to speak to for advice and possible routes into Primary? I have QTS and my NQT year and have passed all the skills tests. I know it wont be easy but am keen and would love the chance to try.
  2. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    It shouldn't be all that hard to switch, you are already qualified.
    You are already doing supply, so just your agency know you'd like to do supply in primary schools as much as possible. If you have built up a good reputation, they'll be happy to send you to primaries.

    Your main issue will be that you are expensive (after 14 years) but not experienced.
    An NQT, fresh out of primary training, will be ten to fifteen grand cheaper than you and slightly more experienced.
    However, if you can sell yourself and have been teaching maths or English in secondary, then you'll be fine.

    I moved ages ago and wouldn't go back for all the world.

    Another option would be to apply to prep schools. Then you could continue to teach your subject, but for KS2 as well as year 7 and 8, maybe even KS1 as well. Once there, you can often move further down the age range if that's what you want to do.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  3. thejudgesscoresarein

    thejudgesscoresarein Occasional commenter

    Agree with caterpillar on most points.

    The thing you have got to think about though is that moving from Secondary to Primary, you will probably have to take a salary cut- can you afford to do this? I’ve employed a number of teachers over the years who were secondary school teachers and ended up returning to secondary after a couple of years because of the pay cut.
  4. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Why do they take a pay cut?
    There is no difference in pay between the two in general.
    Certainly when we had national pay scales, the pay was identical.
    These days, a school will offer what it wants to pay and applicants accept or not.
    But people moving shouldn't get a higher or lower salary.
  5. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    No you're right, essentially there isn't, but opportunities for promoted posts and therefore higher salary is much easier in Sec. than Primary.

    OP, in relation to your original query yes you are already 'technically' qualified to teach any age range just bu having QTS. However it's convincing Heads that you are capable of teaching the full range of curriculum subjects which is the far bigger problem. getting some experience of that to ''prove' your ability would therefore be key.

    And I agree Prep schools would be a good place to start.
  6. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    That is certainly true, but as the OP is currently doing supply, I'm guessing they aren't earning the equivalent of UPS3+TLRs.
  7. helendavealex

    helendavealex New commenter

    Thanks to you all for your responses. I have spoken to the agency I use and advised them of my interest in Primary and they seemed ok with this as there is quite a demand for Y5/6 cover.I may be in luck getting a placement for weeks rather than days.
  8. goofygoober

    goofygoober New commenter

    I moved from secondary to primary many years ago, and the differences were far greater than I realised. I'd visited primary schools and volunteered a bit, and after applying for primary school jobs with no success, decided to work as a TA for a while.

    I spent two years as a TA, and was lucky to work with excellent Y5 and Y6 teachers. After that, I'd developed a much better understanding and feel for primary education.

    Moving straight from secondary to primary teaching without gaining any experience beforehand just isn't feasible, in my opinion, though I suppose many people will disagree. The key parts to the roles are very different - one thing that surprised me was that there aren't schemes of work in primary, you have to plan all the lessons yourself, for every subject, every week. Very different! And differentiation and planning for SEND is way different in primary schools.

    Then there's the parents. Ah, the parents. And building relationships is very different when you have one class all the time. It also involves a different way of working with colleagues, and of course primaries differ in size and classes, so sometimes you might have year group colleagues, sometimes you're by yourself, sometimes you have a head of key stage, sometimes not etc.

    Personally, I would recommend getting experience and spending quite a bit of time in a primary school.

    Good luck!
    Lara mfl 05 and Sally006 like this.
  9. Sally006

    Sally006 Senior commenter

    And don’t make the mistake of thinking behaviour management will be a doddle in primary compared to secondary. I have come across a few secondary teachers who struggled with discipline in secondary and naively assumed they’d be ok in primary - they weren’t.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.

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