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Student teacher in limbo

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by mamieG, Jan 14, 2011.

  1. It was in November when I joined a PGCE course by a training provider in Herefordshire. By that time the other trainees who started in September had completed the induction and where just commencing school placements.
    As a late comer I had to work extremely hard to be on top of things including assignments and reports. Although I started my placement late, I managed to settle down well in school and secured a “Good” in my end of placement report.
    By the second school placement, the incompetency of my training provider started to show. After waiting for up to eight weeks for a second school placement without any joy, I contacted a local school who agreed to take me on. Unfortunately, the placement was terminated after two weeks on the grounds of inadequate support.
    Three weeks later, my training provider sent me back to my old school where I completed my first placement for my second school placement. As upset as I was, I had no choice but to accept considering i was losing valuable time. This time, I struggled with the workload in school and meeting deadlines for assignments. I was attending school five days a week instead of four so as to get the school experience I needed in both KS3 and KS4. On Thursdays I did not make it home until 9 PM after Tutorials. This placement was a failure. I failed this placement as a result of these issues coupled with some misunderstanding with my mentor.

    Please help! Your thoughts on this would be very much appreciated.

  2. Your situation is very unfortunate. To tackle this you need to make a formal representation of your concerns to the tar inning provider. First of all familiarise yourself with the handbook, the policies and what the provider says they will do with regard to placements, that is what they claim to do or what restrictions they have (for example what happens if they cannot find a placement). Then write a letter of complaint to the Head of the School or Department of Education. Concentrate on the facts of the case and what the provider has or has not done according to their own procedures. Any complaints or appeals must be on the basis of the provider not following their procedures. In your letter state that you would like a response in x working days (be reasonable and allow them time to produce a response, say 20 days). Also include information such as the termination of the placement due to a lack of provider support as this strengthens your case and the fact that the QTS regulations require placements in two different schools, so a return to your first placement may have infringed that TDA regulation. Copy your letter to the registrar of the university as that office normally deals with student complaints. State that you have made repeated requests for information (list dates of email communications or calls) but that to date there has been no response. Finally ask them to detail in their response how they are going to rectify the situation to enable you to complete the course.

    You will have to wait for the response and judge from that what the next step will be, hopefully you will get an apology and a course of action that will be satisfactory.

  3. Dear James, thank you very much for your advice. I intend to do just that.
    There is a slight problem though.I am moving back in with my parents about a 150 miles away so as to ease the financial burden considering i have not been working since September.
    I am not aware of the TDA's regulation on transfers.Would i be able to complete my course in Yorkshire although my training provider is based in the West Midlands?.
  4. Transfers between PGCE courses are very rare and there is no accepted procedure for transfers of credits etc. There is no TDA protocol and usually a move to another provider would mean a withdrawal from your current course and an application to a new course.
  5. Dear James, as advised, I wrote to the training provider and requested a written response within two weeks. It is now the third week and I still have not had a response. What would you suggest I should do next?
  6. Contact the person you wrote to and copy this to the head of department (or, if you wrote to the head of department to the dean of school - the next up the ladder). Say that you are disappointed that they have failed to respond to your request. State that your next step will be to ask the University for a formal response to your concerns and that failure to respond may result in an official appeal. State that you will be copying this correspondence to the univeristy head of admissions and the registrar (diffrent departments deal with complaints in different universities - so you could check your own university website for who the correct person is who deals with complaints. State that you will be asking the the head of admissions/registrar to take on this case and to provide a response. Indicate in your letter that you will be seeking speciialist help and advice on your situation, but would prefer the matter ro be settled without recourse to appeals etc. Do then contact your union (e.g. if you are a student member of one of the teaching unions or the students union) and ask for their help in getting a quick response to your complaints and concerns.
  7. I will try these. Thank you James ,I really do appreciate your help.

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