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Taking a year or two out between PGCE and NQT?

Discussion in 'NQTs and new teachers' started by darkness, Jun 12, 2011.

  1. darkness

    darkness New commenter

    I took a year out after the PGCE. You won't be that out of the loop. You can even draw on the experience for interviews. Not to mention, you could teach a little while abroad perhaps, where you will be highly sought after.
  2. Kartoshka

    Kartoshka Established commenter

    It's already competitive to find teaching jobs, and there are many NQTs who are unable to find a job in which to complete their NQT year. Some cannot find supply work either and are forced into taking a break from education for financial reasons. I don't think you will be alone into rushing into a PGCE this year and so it seems likely that competition for jobs in September 2012 will be particularly stiff. That means employers won't be surprised that you didn't complete your NQT year immediately after studying, and will certainly save yourself a lot of effort and potential disappointment during the job search. That's not to say things will be magically better in a couple of years, but at least you'll have scratched your travelling itch and be ready to settle down into a teaching job. Your main issue will be getting a teaching job, as you won't be able to apply from abroad and will have to come back to the UK before you start your search. Then you'll have to convince schools that you are as a good a prospect for them as an experienced teacher or a teacher who's just finished their training - so make sure not to forget teaching altogether while you're away, and keep up to date with developments in teaching. Overall though I don't think you'd be wasting your time on a PGCE just because you're planning to take a break afterwards.
  3. littlemissraw

    littlemissraw Occasional commenter

    Personally I'd say don't. Apply for jobs and if you don't get one then take a year but if you can secure a post I would. Travel in summer after you PGCE if that's what you fancy you'll finish before schools so there'll still be cheap fares xx
  4. Hi
    I agree with littlemissraw. I decided to have another child after the chaotic pgce year and fully intended 2 return to teaching this sept but unable to find a post as been out of the classroom for too long (5 terms)
    You will have age on your side but I would still go with travelling over the summer, getting NQT year out of the way and then see how you feel? U will be in a better position to find work overseas with the induction under your belt.
    Good luck for Sept [​IMG]
  5. Kartoshka, thanks a million for the response. I have been doing Camp America in the summer months which is a real bonus I think and will continue to do it. I just hate the prospect of sitting through a hard demanding year in a PGCE, spending more money whilst being told at the end of it that its worthless. I definitely dont want it to become a waste of time, but on the otherhand ive got people telling me it is a waste of time.

    "They don't want someone who did their PGCE then ran away for a year or two... as one, I think on a personal level you'd lose a lot of the teaching momentum you'd built up over the year and would find it difficult in interviews to get a position when you're fighting against people who are current PGCEers. The PGCE is something that you really have to want NOW at this stage in your life".

    "You're better off seeing ITT year + NQT year as one entity, as this is what it is in reality. The ITT year is just a training process for the training process, which is your NQT year. It certainly doesn't get easier in the NQT year from what I've been told and having a year out of the teaching mindset will just make it even harder".

    The decision is unbelievably hard. I would rather start PGCE in 2012 or 2013 and follow through the process having had time out, but on the other hand I want to get it done now in September having already been accepted onto it.
  6. puffinjen

    puffinjen New commenter

    I say do the PGCE next year as you're overcome the first massive hurdle of actually getting a place on the course - lots of people aren't that lucky. And worry about the rest when the time comes - a lot can happen in a year and this time next year you might be more than happy with the prospect of 2 months of travelling and then starting your NQT year straight away - you do after all finish at the end of June so that's still quite a long time to go travelling.
  7. puffinjen, I would want to start the travelling from September unfortunately. At the moment it sounds like there are no jobs to go into after a PGCE anyhow.
  8. darkness

    darkness New commenter

    I think you are worrying too much. If I am honest, those, (not on this thread) who have told you how you shouldn't take a year out after PGCE, have based this comment on? At the end of the day, even after taking a year out, you will not be out of the loop, otherwise the same could be said for those who fail to get a position straight away. Which is a lot. Most people get a position after doing supply for a couple of years and a school which has used them takes them on when a post comes up.

    Do the PGCE first, it isn't easy to even get on one. Then have a rethink towards the end of the course, but you would certainly not be out of the loop. You could teach EFL whilst abroad.
  9. Ive just been looking at the TEFL site for the UK (http://www.uk-tefl.com/), it does look very impressive to be honest. £200 for the course and you get a TEFL certificate in the post after the two day course. Then they can help you find paid placements in TEFL anywhere in the world after completion.

    - Camp America this summer
    - PGCE September 2011
    - Two years out to include TEFL
    - Supply work

    Surely having done two summers at Camp America, having a first class degree, having a PGCE, doing TEFL and having had experience doing supply work I am bound to stand at least some chance in gaining a NQT position?

    I know I think about it too much, but its only natural when you are set to invest a lot of money, time and effort into something like the PGCE in September. You want to know where it will get you naturally.
  10. Kartoshka

    Kartoshka Established commenter

    Your plan sounds good to me. Getting supply work is also competitive, though, so it isn't a guarantee that you'll be able to do that - but nothing about getting a job has any guarantees, so it makes sense to cross that bridge when you come to it.
    A lot of people say you must do PGCE and induction before taking a break... I have also heard people say that it's better to do more than just one year after your PGCE - that induction plus further experience will look better to future employers than just induction. Based on that theory, it could be years before it's "the right time" to take your year off travelling, by which time you might be settled somewhere with a partner or with a job you enjoy and actually it doesn't feel like the right time at all. And you could end up never going at all.
    You could get a job after your PGCE. There are jobs available and someone needs to do them. But if your heart's on the other side of the globe then it seems silly to tie yourself to England for an extra year, because you wouldn't enjoy it as much as you would do if your heart was fully in it. That's my opinion, anyway.
  11. littlemissraw

    littlemissraw Occasional commenter

    But when did you do this? This past year has shown a huge decline in teachers gaining posts. I left a post in July last year (long story) and despite good reference, recommendation from TES and even an invite to the TES awards I'm unable to get a post back in secondary teaching, in fact I've only had 1 interview out of many applications.
    Darkness is right when they've said not to worry but I'd still recommend applying for posts and let fate decide. But you've got AGES yet to think about what you want to do so just enjoy your PGCE your Camp America and see where life is taking you this time next year. And well done for getting on the course! [​IMG]
  12. darkness

    darkness New commenter

    A long while back now. There has always been an issue of teachers gaining posts compared to how many qualify. The good news is there is a reduction in the number of teaching course places, I believe a reduction of 15% to 20%. So next year there will be less competition, or in the next few years there will be less competition, hopefully.

    At the end of the day, it comes down to experience, and how you do on the day of interview. It also comes down to the application itself. In the very beginning, I was getting nowhere, very few invites to interviews. Fears made worse by the lack of any response. You simply have to look more carefully at a school criteria and really match your application to the points raised.

    I cannot comment on your individual circumstance, the lack of response could be down to many factors, including something on the CV.

    To the original poster, your plan sounds good, do the PGCE now you have gained a place, and as you say, there is the aspect of costs rising from next year. I personally do not think the reasoning y'ou will be out of the loop' is a good one for not taking a year out after the PGCE. As I said, many spend a few years on supply before gaining a post, and you are certainly no more in the loop than someone who would have taken a year out. You can have a look on the net to keep up to date anyway. TEFL at least would allow you to place it as a relevance on your application.
  13. If the job market at the moment is as hard for teachers as people are letting it on to be, then 50% of postgraduate PGCE students wont be in a NQT position the following academic year anyway? If I said in an interview that I had been applying for jobs after my PGCE how would they know if I took 1 year out or not at the end of the day?
  14. Please be aware of the "16 month" non-Induction supply rule for NQTs. I was not aware of this rule until I completed my PGCE and started supply work through the agencies.
    I have also found that some schools have a very poor opinion of supply teachers (despite the fact that many NQTs are unable to find jobs) and seem to prefer employing NQTs straight out of training, rather than ones who have been doing supply or things like Camp America.
  15. Thats not the first time ive been told Camp America looks bad to schools
    on a CV. I cant imagine why. This summer I will spend 8 weeks living with 25 children 24 hours a day 6 days a week.
    If anything it shows that you CAN work well with children and WANT to?
  16. Camp America is a great experience and definitely demonstrates that you work well with children. However, if you go back there straight after the PGCE, it can suggest a lack of commitment to teaching, or working in schools in the UK. On the other hand, supply teaching has its own stigma attached to it. Some schools seem to think it means you're not good enough to get a job!
    So you might as well do whatever suits you best! [​IMG]

  17. I just want to add that you may not be able to do Camp America after your PGCE as PGCE courses don't usually finish until end of June or the start of July and when I did Camp America (a few years back) the camp started in mid May. I think you should do your PGCE and then see what happens in Spring next year. It might not be a bad thing to apply for jobs and see what happens if you get one/or not. Or if you do go travelling just try and do some TEFL while you are away. I travelled for a few years (taught English etc) before I did the PGCE and am just coming to the end of NQT year and desperately want to go away again. But I am doing one more year in the UK so that I have more experience and can then apply to international schools abroad. I think you just have to see what happens and how you feel nearer the time. Good luck and enjoy!
  18. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    If you go abroad after the PGCE,bear in mind that it will complicate getting an enhanced CRB clearance on your return unless you do your research and get the overseas clearance (with official translations, if applicable) before you return.
    You can do your Induction on supply (I did) and it doesn't matter if it's LA paid work or placements from an agency. It must be a post that is intended to last for a term's length (from any point in one school term until at least the same point in the next) and you must be required to plan and assess a regular timetable of classes. If those conditions are met, it has to be part of Induction. Long term sickness covers and maternity covers are the usual routes to Induction on supply.
    I'd prioritise work direct with a school or via an LA supply pool as that will pay you the proper rate and will allow you to progress up the payscale. Agencies will underpay and if you end up on agency supply for the 16 month allowance + a possible supply extension of 12 months,you would still only get M1 for your first LA post, even if you'd passed Induction.
  19. Talc_1234

    Talc_1234 New commenter

    You are wring there
    Lived in Poland for 14 years before doing my PGCE. enhanced CRB was fine. None of the people who employed me asked for anything else
    At the most a character witness will suffice
  20. Talc_1234

    Talc_1234 New commenter

    wring = wrong

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