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Teacher trainers asked to take on rejected applicants

Discussion in 'Education news' started by Shedman, Jun 6, 2019.

  1. Shedman

    Shedman Star commenter


    A schools minister has told teacher training providers to help ensure that candidates that they reject for their courses are not lost to the profession.

    Nick Gibb has written to initial teacher training (ITT) providers to encourage rejected candidates to call the Get Into Teaching line to get help finding an alternative course.

    The school standards minister has also revealed that seven new centres are being opened to allow teaching candidates to sit the skills test more quickly.

    OK, I could post my usual picture of Dad's Army's Corporal Jones with the caption 'Don't Panic' but this latest wheeze really is showing signs of desperation by the DFE and government ministers to boost teacher numbers.

    There is no shortage of able, qualified, talented teachers. The problem is that hundreds of thousands of them choose not to teach in state schools.

    Nick, you know that this latest initiative is never going to fill the gap left by those excellent teachers lost to the profession by the current exasperating school system and the lack of money in schools to pay them properly as they become more experienced. Start addressing the causes of the problem rather than adopting these pathetic, sticking plaster quick fixes.
  2. maggie m

    maggie m Senior commenter

    I mentor student teachers , have done for many years.Given the quality of some of candidates that have been accepted over the last three or four years I shudder to think what rejected applicants were like.
  3. Teslasmate

    Teslasmate Occasional commenter

    It really is 'anyone with a pulse and a DBS' isn't it?
  4. moscowbore

    moscowbore Senior commenter

    I was astonished by the lack of subject knowledge of the PGDE students who had been accepted onto a teacher training course in Scotland. They had never been asked anything about their subject knowledge in the interview process. They all had IT degrees and were training to be Computing teachers. Only one had any programming experience.
  5. HolyMahogany

    HolyMahogany Occasional commenter

    They used to refer to the PIT - Pool of inactive teachers - Not inactive, people who had given up teaching as a bad lot, due to Stress, workload, pay and conditions etc.
    The problem that needs to be resolved first is not recruitment it is retention. There is no point in recruiting staff if they do not stay in the profession. Also it does not matter how many you recruit if you lose even more.
    Of course to resolve retention it will be necessary to address the issues that are causing people to leave.
    Stress, workload, pay and conditions etc.
    Perhaps the people who failed to make the grade for teaching should go into politics. probably be too clever and over qualified for that job.
  6. doteachershavesuperpowers

    doteachershavesuperpowers Occasional commenter

    So, gone are the days when you had to beat around 1000 candidates for about 50 places?
    Shedman and agathamorse like this.
  7. ViolaClef

    ViolaClef Lead commenter

    Perhaps it all started to go downhill when teacher training colleges were abolished. Once upon a time people who wanted to be primary school teachers made that choice and started their training when they were 18 at a teacher training college. They had four years of study, blocks of teaching practice and courses in history of education, sociology, psychology and all the subjects they would have to teach. They also chose a specialism - a subject that they would one day be able to lead in a school. This approach and degree course was a thorough and excellent preparation for a teaching career.
  8. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    They still do, but it is declining in popularity. The DFE puts all the money into PG.

    There is no escaping the lack of subject qualified teachers. 60% of new maths teachers don’t have a maths degree. 55% physics and so on.

    On the PGCE you are therefore having to double study both teaching and subject knowledge. It’s only the £2.6k a month take home that eases the pain.
    jlishman2158, Shedman and agathamorse like this.
  9. ViolaClef

    ViolaClef Lead commenter

    Some of what would have been considered (20-30 years ago) the most highly regarded teacher training colleges no longer offer the Bachelor of Education (Hons.) degree. These colleges, which once were full of trainee teachers, have either become part of a nearby university or metamorphosed into something else. It is so incredibly sad.
    I have always thought the PGCE to be a very rushed course - learning to teach in a year? And the trouble is, people do a degree and then wonder what to do after it... I’m sure it was ever thus, but I think more people seem to be opting for a PGCE because they don’t quite know what else to do; when the reality of teaching hits them either they don’t finish the course or don’t stay in the profession very long because it was never what they really wanted to do.
    Pay and conditions must be big issues, too. If you have a Science degree and can start work in a good company for 30K, why on earth would you choose to be a teacher?
  10. agathamorse

    agathamorse Occasional commenter

    To teach secondary you needed to do a degree then PGCE.
    Shedman likes this.
  11. ViolaClef

    ViolaClef Lead commenter

    Yes, that’s right. But the beauty of the B.Ed (Hons.) degree for primary was that you studied your specialist subject (plus all the primary subjects, because you had to be able to teach those too, of course) and how to teach over four years. All elements were progressing concurrently, punctuated by blocks of teaching practice. There was time to reflect, time to build resources, time to improve your own skills. It was an excellent course which, I believe, nurtured many excellent teachers who, right from the start, really wanted to teach.
  12. Grandsire

    Grandsire Senior commenter

    My PGCE course was heavily over-subscribed with 15 applicants for every place. That meant the college could afford to choose only those applicants who’d already had plenty of experience of teaching - for me, that consisted of five years of helping at weekly and holiday youth groups, and three years of supporting and then voluntarily teaching an afternoon once a week in a primary placement during my first degree. Other people on my course had similar experience albeit from different backgrounds.

    My PGCE really didn’t teach me how to teach. I knew I could teach; I just needed a piece of paper proving it. I certainly didn’t aspire to be a teacher - it was just something I discovered I was good at, and at the time it seemed like a fun way to earn a living.

    Contrast that with the PGCE students from my local college who come into school now. Very few have any experience other than the two weeks observing in a local school at the start of the course, and most are a long way from what I’d call top-grade candidates. They’re lovely, and well-meaning, and say they’ve always wanted to “work with children” but they’re also learning about education from scratch, and they’re even struggling with the curriculum content at the lower primary level.

    I don’t know where the stronger canndidates are going, but I suspect it’s not into education. To be fair, if I’d known that, after more than two decades of deciding for myself what my pupils needed, I was going to be patronised and told how to teach by someone who knew far less than me about it, I guess I’d have steered clear of the job (it’s no longer a profession), too.

    Sadly, it’s also not as much fun...
  13. sabram86

    sabram86 Occasional commenter

    To be honest, the PGCE is a useful qualification and the money is very welcome. But the prospects after the course are not. That's the simple reason I don't teach in schools; I prefer sanity, independence and simplicity.
    jlishman2158 and Shedman like this.

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