1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded education professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice


Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by travelling75, Jun 10, 2017.

  1. travelling75

    travelling75 New commenter

    Hi I was wondering if anyone could give me advice?

    I'm currently struggling on my final placement, I feel that I'm at breaking point yet I only have 3 weeks left to go.
    My other concern is that I'm not going to get the required good when I finish my placement (My last placement I was always good) and that I am not supported in the school. My university link tutor is telling me to suck it up and get on with it.
    I teach two different classes within the school - the first class is very challenging with lots of SEN/ behavioural issues with a number of chn having 1:1, the other class has no class teacher and the TA who normally teaches them is on long term sick, so I'm currently not getting any support.

    My teacher last Monday undermined me in front of the chn and got an other TA to agree with her that I couldn't do what I had planned half way through the lesson. Then I was asked for homework ideas, which was my fault as I completely forgot but I was only reminded on the day she wanted to send it out 5 minutes before hand - I know this has been mentioned to my mentor as the comments where placed on feedback from weeks ago stating I should of done this but I was never asked to complete it just make suggestions. I also came into school on the Friday to find the teacher that normally works that morning was off sick. Instead of guided reading (as the was only work planned for a small group I had planned to work with) my teacher wanted me to teach an English lesson that I was yet to plan. Which I stated I wasn't conformable with and I didn't feel I could do the lesson justice. I did offer to still take the small group on do my planned activity but that was declined. In the end I suggested that we do the father day card I was told to come up with the day before. Then it was agreed to would get the children to complete some questions about the share reading book I had read to them on Monday. Also the other day with having re-arranged a visit I realised we had an hour lesson that needed to be taught, when I asked for suggestion of what to teach. I was told to just teach anything.

    On Monday I have to complete an appraisal, this is a repeat lesson of one that went so badly last time a few weeks ago. Whilst I don't want to do exactly the same the only advice I've been given in to make it much harder. Taking a friends advice I have gone through the placement handbook and highlighted things that have not been done. Only 7 requirement of the requirements mentor/class teacher out of the 31 (over the last 6 weeks) have been completed. Also having been graded RI at the interim report we where told we would have to attend university - sadly I was not allowed to do this by my school as they refused to release me.

    Whilst I appreciate that teaching is very challenging and should I become a teacher there will be little support. I feel that I am been asked to learn to drive without an instructor or instructions.
  2. yodaami2

    yodaami2 Lead commenter

    It sounds an absolute shambles. What does your uni mentor have to say? I would complain bitterly then complain again until I have the support needed, or have been moved to a school with a teacher who can support me. You are paying £9000 a year; you are not getting your money's worth. If your mentor is not doing anything, then go straight to head of the course, then faculty, do not let it go. It seems to me that this school are using you as cheap labour. Both your university and the school are not fulfilling their obligations. I hope things improve.
    minka1, wanet and pepper5 like this.
  3. Piscean1

    Piscean1 Senior commenter

    I second the "You're paying £9000 a year." I'm a current trainee and my boyfriend is an experienced teacher who takes a student on every year.

    Your mentor probably receives payment for this. Put it this way, we had a decent chunk of our holiday spending money from him taking a student last year. And certainly, the school will be receiving money to "cover your photocopying, etc." as a contribution from the university. They do not take us on goodwill so don't let them feed you that carp! He would NEVER treat a student like this.

    Do you have a weekly sit down meeting with the mentor? I have one with mine and we talk about the timetable for following week, planning expectations, etc. and progress against the standards. My mentor is lovely but not very experienced. I tell her what I think I've made progress on and what the evidence is. She usually agrees and ticks it off. Sometimes, you just have to take control of a situation.

    I would go above your university link tutor to the next person in the food chain and just explain that you are struggling and you have sought advice from your link tutor but it has not been forthcoming so you need to know where to turn next. To not be allowed to attend a university session is a disgrace - it's non-negotiable on our course. We all go back mid-way through placement to check everyone's getting on okay, etc. and if somebody couldn't attend because their school prevented them from doing so, our course leader would be on the phone.

    I'd also be concerned as to why they've prevented you from going. I suspect they know they're at fault. I understand the university wants to maintain relationships with schools but I'd be concerned that, given the lack of training you're actually receiving, this school isn't going to be helping to prepare trainees adequately and that will start to reflect badly on the course.

    You're unlikely to be failed because it looks terrible on the university and the school. I hope your NQT year is better supported - good luck for the next three weeks!
    minka1 and pepper5 like this.
  4. welshwizard

    welshwizard Established commenter Forum guide

    Are you training or doing a teaching post. I assume you are on School Direct as you don' t mention a university tutor or mentor support?
    If you are on a PGCE then you need to be having serious conversations with your tutors.
    minka1 and wanet like this.
  5. travelling75

    travelling75 New commenter

    I'm PGCE student, I emailed the director of the current placement (SE3). Following this my mentor was wanting to know why I feel I have haven't had support stating as it is the final placement I should know what I am doing. He was blaming my last placement where I was always graded good, asking me about my back ground and if I've always wanted to teach. That it is my fault as I am not acting on things that have not been said to me, also since talking to the placement director (who is good friends with my mentor). I have been given things.... that states I have intervention on these days.... I knew not to send any planning on the Sunday. That I had to have it in before the school finished for half term (which I find impossible as we would have been on residential etc.) None of these things have been discussed with me and I feel like they are covering their back. I've been told I'm walking a thin blue line and likely to fail.
    I took some advice from a teacher in the school, as much as I've been set a support plan - which I had to ask for a copy off. (Well when I say support plan it was what I was going to do to improve.) I went to ask what exactly he was looking for in term of these standard to see if it would help me. I was told I shouldn't be asking and should already know. Then he gave me a few examples for a couple of them and it not something I can give an example on the other.

    Today I've email a number of other people because even though their is only 2 and half weeks left. I'm at breaking point and I feel myself not improving and going backwards instead.
    Sadly on top of this I have had a lot to deal with including a death of a family member.
  6. welshwizard

    welshwizard Established commenter Forum guide

    OK if the provision of support by the university is inadequate. You need to talk with your student representative, student union and teaching union to get their support and advice. You also need to look at the formal complaints procedure in your student handbook and consider initiating this. You should also ask to see the student counsellor at the university for help.
    pepper5 likes this.
  7. MonstieBags

    MonstieBags Occasional commenter

    I agree
    I had a similar experience in my first placement - basically I was a TA for free looking after a seriously SEN but unstatemented child. After three weeks, I reminded my training company that I had paid 9.5k and demanded that it be returned as they had not fulfilled their part of the contract. Things changed pretty quickly. You have paid for a service and it is not being provided. Get your money back now.
  8. Sillow

    Sillow Lead commenter

    Then he's very lucky; in my years of teaching I have had PGCE students, BEd students, Schools Direct and foreign students and have never received an extra penny.
    yodaami2, jarndyce and chelsea2 like this.
  9. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter


    I have never ever known additional payments to be made for mentoring a student.

    Universities don't pay schools for taking students (or their photocopying...!)
    yodaami2 likes this.
  10. mandala1

    mandala1 Occasional commenter

    Yes, they do!!!
  11. welshwizard

    welshwizard Established commenter Forum guide

    Some universities do pay for hosting students on placements its just that the funding does not reach the people doing the job- so true of many things
  12. saluki

    saluki Lead commenter

    Yes. My mentor was paid 300 pounds for (not) mentoring me. Dunno about photo copying costs - I had to do it at home at my own expense!
    I should have had a weekly meeting every Wednesday afternoon. After about 2 weeks mentor changed hours and went on a CPD course on Wednesday afternoons. No meetings. No support. I submitted my lessons and resources before I taught. No feedback beforehand just criticism afterwards.
    Mentor is now in charge of teacher training at that college. This proves that mediocrity is always well rewarded and it is easy to rise in a profession without doing any work. A useful lesson to learn.
  13. lisajkent

    lisajkent New commenter

    [This comment/section/image has been removed for breaching our Community Guidelines/Terms and conditions]
  14. newromantic

    newromantic Occasional commenter

    Just playing devil's advocate here...... have you listened to feedback and addressed the negative issues?
    Why do you have to 'suck it up and get on with it'? I don't know your situation but do you moan about things when they don't go your way?
    You need to fight your corner by following the advice of the above posters but I would put more effort into improving by focusing on the parts you are to be assessed on in the final few weeks.
    Good luck.
  15. yodaami2

    yodaami2 Lead commenter

    The schools do get a fee for each student they take, but I've never heard of a mentor getting any payment! We get an extra free to mentor the students. The only positive for a teacher mentor is that if you get a good one then you have some lessons that you do not have to teach or plan and mark for eventually. In my experience it's about a 40/60 chance of getting good ones. For the others the extra time given is greatly outweighed by the support the students need. Anyway for PGCE the £9000 obligation lies firmly with the uni; schools get a very very small proportion of this. As for SCITT we are in a consortium and I don't know how the fee is distributed but I do know that my one free a week doesn't come anywhere near £9000 and I'd say I am the only real support the student gets ( on top of class teachers that offer advice as well.) I think they get some in house lectures at the home school; but....Yes I'd like to do an Audit for SCITT as there is a very strange distribution of funds.
  16. Piscean1

    Piscean1 Senior commenter

    My course provider is very clear about providing schools with money to cover our use of resources. I believe there were problems in the past and the provider basically eliminated schools' complaints by giving them money to cover our costs.

    In terms of mentors being paid, I hadn't realised it was so uncommon. Obviously, I know that the mentors for my course receive money... Because we had lots of nice cocktails in sunny Spain last year courtesy of it! They stagger it too so you get more for taking a student in first placement than you do in final placement.
  17. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    We're obviously working with all the wrong universities man.

    How do I find students that I'm going to get paid for???
    Piscean1 likes this.
  18. Piscean1

    Piscean1 Senior commenter

    I wonder if it's more common for SCITTs to pay? A lot of schools in our area which used to take both PGCE and SCITT now only take us so money clearly talks.

    We'll hopefully be having more nice cocktails in sunny somewhere if we manage to book a last minute deal. :D
  19. uu15926

    uu15926 New commenter

    Join a union and get some advice.

Share This Page