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To PGCE or not to PGCE... That is the question!

Discussion in 'Career clinic' started by tgletts, Mar 25, 2020.

  1. tgletts

    tgletts New commenter

    Hello, I understand that there are other threads on this which I have largely read but I was wondering if any of you would be kind enough to share your advice here.

    In brief summary, I'm currently on a SCITT teaching course which has been cut short due to corona virus. The university who accredits our PGCE has decided to push ahead with it and we write a purely hypothetical PGCE, without having conducted any research - i.e. what we would have found and the intervention we would have done. I initially joined the SCITT course because my understanding was that the PGCE was an optional bolt on to QTS. It was described to me as "one thread of the course" at interview. Now, I really struggled in my final year of uni but did just come out with a 2.1 and I just scraped (by 1%) a passing grade for the first part of the PGCE. I was however, unable to complete the first essay of the second part of the PGCE and now I really am completely confused by the research part (the second essay of the second part of the PGCE). I have raised these issues at my reviews and on other occasions with my course provider.

    Now, I feel very strongly that the PGCE just isn't for me and I understand the implications of this for my career: Some schools require you to have one and others don't and it will be harder to progress up the career ladder. I really have thought long and hard about this, but cannot find any impartial advice. My SCITT course simply advise me to push on and do it. My questions here are, do you think that I should push on and do it? If you don't have a PGCE, what is your experience? If you do have a PGCE, do you think that I should just suck it up and push on? I
  2. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    I don't understand this part at all.
    I was under the impression that a SCITT course was a school based training course which leads to qts and to you being a fully qualified teacher at the end of it.
    And that a PGCE is a university based training course which also leads to qts and to you being a fully qualified teacher at the end of it.
    I've never heard of anyone doing both and cannot for the life of me see how your SCITT course is pushing you to do a different course at the same time.

    Schools certainly do not require a PGCE...they couldn't possibly these days as there are so many different ways to train to teach.
    It won't be harder to progress up the career ladder. Once you are qualified, no one cares what route you took to get the qualification.
  3. tgletts

    tgletts New commenter

    Hi Caterpillartobutterfly,
    It's really interesting that you say this, as this had been my understanding also. Some (lots of) teachers that I have been working with have also remarked in how strange it is that I should be studying for both QTS via a SCITT and getting a PGCE. The current SCITT course that I am on is a school based training course that does lead to QTS and we also do a PGCE at the same time
  4. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    If your SCITT leads to qts, then drop the PGCE.
  5. phatsals

    phatsals Established commenter

    It's also possible to offer you the Professional Certificate, rather than Post Graduate Certificate. Level 6 rather than Level 7.

    Most people who can't quite get the academic level for PGCE are offered the Level 6 qualification. Still qualified, still with QTS. Check with your university mentor, they should be able to answer this very quickly.
  6. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    But the OP has a 2:1 degree, so is a graduate and is doing a SCITT course as a graduate.
  7. phatsals

    phatsals Established commenter

    That's neither here nor there. If they aren't meeting the grade for PGCE then Professional Cert is offered.

    I've seen it happen to a number of people. They follow the same course of study but their academic work isn't of a high enough standard to reach Masters level, hence level 6.
  8. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    I can understand them not being given a masters...it seems a fairly new thing for all ITT students to do a masters as part of training and I wouldn't bother if I were them. I've seen the same though, some people do the masters part and some don't.

    But that isn't the same as a PGCE is it?
    If it is, then my advice stays the same...just give it up if it causes you a hassle. Most teachers don't have one and no one will ever know you gave it up rather than didn't start.
  9. phatsals

    phatsals Established commenter

    I completely agree, it's all smoke and mirrors to me. The PCertEd is regarded in the same way as the PGCE and the new distinction is the PGDip. Level 6, Level 7 60 credits, Level 7 90 credits.

    No employer is going to go into that level of detail when recruiting. Having said that, if the OP has already put in some academic work, a Professional Certificate in Education would only seem fair, in recognition of their work.
  10. rachelsays

    rachelsays New commenter

    You only need a PGCE if you plan on teaching abroad in the future. In England and Wales, QTS is sufficient to gain a teaching job and a PGCE is not required.

    However, as your training provider should have explained to you, if you ever want to teach outside of England and Wales, you will need a PGCE as QTS is not accepted as a teaching qualification by other countries, including Scotland. This is because most countries require teachers to have had 4 years of university education and a university based teaching qualification.

    If you never plan on teaching abroad then you can forget the PGCE alongside the SCITT. But if you have any ambitions to travel with your teaching, then you do need it and it is worth the hassle. I did the GTP and opted for the bolt on PGCE and I am so glad I did. It means I have total flexibility on where I can work and for me that was worth the bother of writing a few essays on top of teaching practice. Short term pain, long term gain!
    Tararose212 likes this.

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