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Sold a false promise on a Maths PGCE course?

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by k_j_longridge, Feb 2, 2019.


Have I been diddled and have a right to complain to the University?

  1. Yes

  2. No

  3. Don't Know

Results are only viewable after voting.
  1. k_j_longridge

    k_j_longridge New commenter

    So I'm on a PGCE course right now at a University in a city I don't live but am based in a nearby city that is accessible 15 minutes away by a frequent train service which makes getting to any University based sessions rather easy. This is all in spite I cannot drive due to not having a car or license due to personal reasons.

    I applied and accepted the place safe in the knowledge that I would be going to the University no more than two days a week, with the exception of a series of lectures at the start of each term.

    What we got told in the first week of starting the course in the "Induction Conference" was a 10 minute talk about setting up a "Maths Hub" which they called an "innovation" with some very rudimentary details being provided and no follow-up emails about what it exactly entailed for everybody on the course. I came out of it assuming that if you were part of it, both Placement schools would be in the "Hub" and occasional university-based sessions would be replaced by an extra day in school for additional training.

    Instead, we get told that every Friday would be at one of these schools in the Hub, an additional 20 to 50km from the University campus in small towns that aren't served that well with public transport.

    The University has not once addressed how much of a logistical nightmare this can be for me and others, resulting in sometimes 2.5 Hour commutes in each direction using a combination of Trains and Buses to get to these schools for 8.30, I didn't go into this course expecting every session to be university based but when only one of the two days are actually in university I feel like I have a point.

    I've got a meeting with one of our subject mentors regarding my attendance (Because I'm arriving to these sessions either late or just not at all as trekking all that way for a 9-12 day is pointless, especially if I'm late) and want to set the record straight, they haven't addressed this once as being a problem and instead just played the "you can just get a lift off somebody" card, which I find rather uncomfortable to do by just assuming that people are willing and able to give a lift (Some on my course have been super and providing a lift though it makes me feel incredibly uneasy).

    This information wasn't provided in the interview/application process and the online information for the 2019-20 programme doesn't state this anywhere either, I'd hate for others to sign up to a programme that just isn't feasible.

    I'd like to know what you all think about this as it's rather infuriating.
    pepper5 likes this.
  2. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter


    It must be very frustrating for you not knowing about this additional travel before you signed up for the course.

    You are on the course now, so your aim is to finish it. If you are still on it and doing well apart from these Hub sessions, then you have done well.

    In your meeting, however, hard it may be, try to stay positive and explain your dilemma about the travel and your unease of having to ask for lifts. I would be exactly the same; however, you might have to accept that just for a few more months, you will need lifts. Are you able to contribute towards the petrol to get there?

    I would just focus now on doing whatever you have to do to finish your course since you have come so far now in terms of this course and also your previous studies, but I would point out to the university that they need to explain this system to students before they sign up.
    k_j_longridge and agathamorse like this.
  3. k_j_longridge

    k_j_longridge New commenter

    Thanks for your reply, it's good to see that people out there seem to think that I have a point and will be making the case to the Subject Tutor at the University.

    Quitting is something that I wouldn't dream of doing as it would be a real injustice for myself and everybody else involved. As far as what the University want out of me, they just want statistics and that's it for this year but your point regarding what new students are signing up to is something I totally agree with and shall definitely be raising this point, especially as interviews for next year will be starting imminently.

    Money isn't a problem to be contributing above and beyond for lifts, so much so that the driver is actually making money off it in most cases, but it just seems like the University assumes all of this will happen naturally and not do any reasonable consultation with those who live further from these schools.

    It's a course advertised as being based on "City Campus" but when we're barely there, it feels like false advertising.
    pepper5 likes this.
  4. Stiltskin

    Stiltskin Star commenter

    Some universities are a little slow on recognising the consumer rights aspect, so you may have a case for false advertising. Have you talked to your course rep to get this recognised at a higher level? It may also be worth talking to someone at the student union.

    I presume the Maths Hub is part of the national ones - http://www.mathshubs.org.uk/find-your-hub/
    pepper5 likes this.
  5. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    It is a scam which serves the schools and the university but does **** all for you and your colleagues except disrupt your life at your own expense.

    Has an additional school day been added? If so then how many in total? If these were not advertised or allowed for in the terms under which you accepted your placement then you have a right to request that these terms are honoured without detriment to your standing or progress. If they prevaricate then threaten a suit, do not entertain their promises to find a way to accommodate your needs while meanwhile they have you comply with this new demand, get a firm decision. Do not allow the administration or faculty to intimidate you or hold you back. Do not overthink this, either comply with the university's demand or threaten them, it is the only language businesses understand. Document every interaction with your university about this, there is no such thing as an informal conversation between contractual partners.

    Once you have resolved this issue to your satisfaction then go forward in good grace and work as hard as you can to achieve your goals, but do not make the mistake of thinking that anyone at a school of education is your friend. They are there to process you through to the end of their course, nothing more.
    pepper5 likes this.
  6. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    You might wish to change your username here. Email help@tes.com with your preference.
    pepper5 likes this.

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