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Should I retake my A levels?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by veni_vidi, Jan 1, 2016.

  1. veni_vidi

    veni_vidi New commenter

    Hello, I hope this is the correct place to ask for this sort of advice. I am teacher of RE and Sociology to KS4. I have been at the same school since my NQT and I'm currently on M5. Due to different factors such as location I am considering changing schools in the next couple of years and know that although my reference will be excellent, I may not get shortlisted due to my A Levels which were grade D, E and F. Also my degree is in Criminology and Sociology 2:2. My PGCE was Religious studies.

    I would like to take History and Religious studies online A Level courses. Partly just to make up for past mistakes, also because I think it would improve my employability in the future.

    So my question is do you think retaking A Levels would improve my chances of getting shortlisted (maybe for humanities or jobs teaching KS5) ?

    Many thanks for any advice received!
  2. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    No, I don't think that would make much difference.

    I believe that it would be better to come out openly about it in your application, saying that you now realise that you did not study as you should have, and that this gives you greater empathy with the students, and can help you (without telling them about your own failings) to encourage them to do themselves justice.

    Best wishes for 2016

    digoryvenn and Milliemoo13 like this.
  3. veni_vidi

    veni_vidi New commenter

    Many thanks Theogriff, I may rethink then and spend my time on something else more useful. I didn't expect a reply today so thanks for being so prompt.
    Happy new year!
  4. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    @veni_vidi - come down to JobSeekers Forum and ask for advice on applications.

    Best wishes

  5. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Although the devious imp within me ruminates on the idea that you might want to mention that you PLAN to take some online courses both to boost your existing grades and/or to master some new subjects?

    You might not want to specify a DATE for this proposed online learning however. Up to you.

    But otherwise? What @TheoGriff (aka The Oracle) said.
  6. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    Whilst I do tend to agree with both the responses above, I can't help but think that if I got an application from someone who'd got poor A level results and then had recently worked hard enough to get (say) A grades in re-takes, I'd be inclined to think that such a person was not only very committed to their own professional development - but also that their subject knowledge had been very recently well refreshed! I think it would certainly make me more interested in their application.
    badger_girl likes this.
  7. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    But suppose you re-took them, @Middlemarch , and only got a B . . . you'd still have to include them on your application . . .

  8. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    Still better than the OP's original grades!
  9. towncryer

    towncryer Lead commenter

    Thanks for the question and your reply Theo. I am in the very same position almost the same grades..and similars.subjects..good enough back in the day for most jobs but looking a little shabby next to all the A'S A* of the last few decades.
  10. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    Those of us who 'only' got a 2:1 back in the 70s (or earlier) feel the same way about the explosion of firsts that has taken place in the past 20 years!
    cissy3 and ValentinoRossi like this.
  11. sabrinakat

    sabrinakat Star commenter

    Instead of re-taking A-levels, what about an on-line or distance learning university course/postgraduate certificate/diploma in your area of interest? I decided to return to secondary teaching but wanted to show recent language skills - I did a distance learning postgraduate advanced language course through a respected university, was able to do well (some are pass/file, mine wasn't), it showed potential employers I was keeping my language skills sharp and I enjoyed it as well. You could look at the Open University to start with, plus you could do the course/s while you work. There are also extension courses/continuing education courses through many universities that are on-line, weekly or even weekends - that could offer you credit or at least, could give you of a taster before embarking on a lengthy course.

    Good luck!
    digoryvenn likes this.
  12. digoryvenn

    digoryvenn Lead commenter

    My A level grades were poor but I was able to progress to postgraduate studies. I agree with Theo and Sabrinakat.
    Good luck.
  13. scienceteachasghost

    scienceteachasghost Lead commenter

    I got a Third and still got into teaching.
    This may be controversial but I think that your A level grades will not likely feature very much in whether you are shortlisted/appointed. In fact, the cynic of me would say that resitting your A-levels would make your career path a bit 'non-conventional' which seems to scare the school-college-uni-teaching-SLT without other experience brigade on interview panels!
  14. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    Surely @Middlemarch would get at least an A!

    Me too!
  15. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

  16. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    My only caveat is this: a lot can happen in two years.

    If you were applying now I'd say your excellent reference would get you an interview. However two years could bring a change of HT or other staff changes.

    You can quickly find your face doesn't fit for no obvious reason. Do not assume that an excellent reference will still be yours in 2017 or 2018. I hope I'm wrong but you could get a dodgy cohort and results might slide so.....self-improvement shows willing and is probably rarely wasted.
  17. DrJay

    DrJay Occasional commenter

    If I were you,I would (as already suggest by others) enrol on a distance learning postgraduate course. This should count towards your CPD. Two PG modules (typically 30 credits each) would earn you PGCert, 4 = (PGDip) and if you take 4 modules and write a dissertation, you get the full MA/MSc. Earning a postgraduate qualification, in my view, should look better on your CV, and possibly make you more competitive since you're sure of good references and you already have a few years of teaching experience under your belt. Good luck.
    grumpydogwoman likes this.

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