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University of Sunderland PGCE DL anyone done it?

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by R_Bounous, Mar 11, 2009.

  1. <table cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0"><tr><td class="post">I am seriously considering doing this course but it costs a whooping 5200 pounds, only lasts 34 weeks and I can't find any reviews nor testimonials. I know it doesn't lead to QTS etc.. but if anyone out there could let me know if it worthwhile and how they fared on the international school job market with it, I would be extremely grateful.
    Thanks in advance
  2. I think it depends on whether you do it as an independent distance learning course or distance learning centre based course. There seems to be a huge difference in the two
  3. Hi Rob,
    I'm currently doing the course. The course itself is ok, but you get no support whatsoever from the university. If you have problems with, or questions about anything, be it academic, administrative or technical, there is no one to contact.
    It is very expensive, and the university does not do a lot for its money. But it has led to me (and several of my friends) getting jobs at (or better pay at) international schools in China.
    I am extremely disappointed, and so are the other 6 students on the course in Beijing, and I cannot recommend the course to you. However, doing the PGCE this way is still preferable to uprooting my family and going back to the UK for a year to do it at home, so I think it depends on your situation.
    I have completed a few distance learning courses with other universities, and this one is sadly lacking.

    emmygoround likes this.
  4. Hi Rob (and others),
    I am currently doing the University of Sunderlands PGCE course here in Dubai, UAE.
    I have found the University staff to be easy to communicate with, prompt at answering emails, supportive and highly professional.
    The staff here in Dubai are extremely good! Will often answer an email with a direct phone call. Seem to be available 24hrs a day, although I personally haven't had to put that to the test. They are very supportive, full of useful advice, know the local education system inside out and will bend over backwards to sort out any problems or issues you might have. First and foremost they are very experienced teachers, they understand completely the stresses of doing the PGCE course but also insist on the students here meeting very high academic expectation. This is by far the hardest course I have ever attempted - this is NOT the easy option!
    The mentors in school are also fantastic as are all the school staff that I have come into contact with.
    I can highly recommend this course, certainly here in the UAE.

  5. I am currently doing this couse and have mixed feelings. Like has been mentioned before it is rather expensive, however it's cheaper than relocating back to UK to study there.
    The strength of the course is definately if you are one of the countries that have the tutors there. I do not and have found that since last September I have had 3 e'mails from my tutor.
    When first starting the course it is assumed that all network problems you have and your fault as the indivdual, but in fact many of them were from the university themselves.
    There is little in the way of expectations of how to set work etc, and layout for assignments but I just did my own thing anyway.
    If you are someone who is using this as a way to get into teaching I think its very difficult and you will feel very alone. If you're someone who is already working in a school, or is in one of the host countries with the tutors present then I think although extremely time consuming if done properly (200hrs per unit) it's probably worthwhile.
    Hope this helps
  6. Hi Rob
    I am located in the UAE and am about to complete the PGCE DL course run by Magrudy's. Many of us already work in schools but are trying to up-grade our status and career prospects. I intend to return to my previous work in dyslexia and I can tell you that the course has been a fantastic learning experience. Very high pressure with a steep learning curve and much as we try, evenings and weekends are usually dedicated to University work while day-time is dedicated to school children - that's the tough part. Having said that, the tutors on the course in Dubai have been outstanding, really supportive every step of the way and most prompt at responding to queries at any time. The tutors from the university have also ALWAYS replied immediately to my enquiries and the induction was very thorough in September. The only issue has been with accessing the Sunderland web-site, some course reading material through the university and some e-mail glitches. Other than that, it helps if you take the initiative to access all the information and organise yourself as the student profile can be very diverse and tutors don't know how you like to work best - if you are passionate and determined about education, the system works well for you! I wish you luck whatever you choose to do. A Khan
  7. Hi Max, I am about to embark on this course. I cannot see any new posts on this subject. In your opinion does anyone fail this course. I am getting different opinions from within the school I am in,as to how to write the assignments. It is even more expensive now but I need to do it to continue with my job overseas.

    Thanks, hope you can help
  8. Angelil

    Angelil Occasional commenter

    Full disclosure: I haven't done this particular course. However, I looked into it when trying to find ways to qualify while remaining overseas. I ditched any thought of it as soon as I realised it didn't lead to QTS, and did an assessment-only route instead (the best way, in my view, without uprooting yourself/your family and moving back to the UK for 2 years). So I'd recommend doing that instead.
  9. EmmaVM

    EmmaVM New commenter

    Angelil, can you tell me where and how you are achieving QTS via an assessment only route without returning to the UK? I enquired only yesterday at the University of Cumbria about their assessment only route to QTS and was told it's not possible without a placement in a UK school. I hope to qualify whilst living in Germany and agree QTS is an important consideration for the future. In fact I'm lead to believe local German education government offices will not accept non-QTS teachers, even when working in private international schools.

    Thanks, Emma
  10. Angelil

    Angelil Occasional commenter

    Hello Emma

    I did indeed complete a UK placement (2 weeks) as part of my AO route. All you need is a friend's sofa to crash on really :p

    Educators Abroad should be able to help you. I went through them and they were excellent. Basically they match you up to a university that is convenient to you/that meets your needs.

    Hope that helps; feel free to PM me if I can help further :)
  11. Hi Angelil, I have many of the same questions as EmmaVM. I want to do my PGCE (specifically 16+), but I will likely be in Costa Rica, so a distance learning option is ideal. However, I would need to know that I am able to gain QTS to work at international schools (both in CR and elsewhere).

    From what you've said here, I think you have been doing a distance learning PGCE but have had to do a two-week placement in the UK to gain QTS. Is that right or have I misinterpreted what you've said? If I'm right, that is exactly what I'm after!

    I have emailed Educators Abroad, but I'd be very interested to hear from you.


  12. Angelil

    Angelil Occasional commenter

    Hello Emma

    That's basically it, although not a PGCE per se as I didn't receive any training (they basically assume that you have the appropriate experience and already meet the standards, so are just making sure you can prove it through observations and documentation - rather than assuming you don't meet the standards already and training you up so you do!).

    Just let me know if you have more questions :)
  13. Hi Angelil,

    May I ask where you did your AO placement? Is there any centre that you'd say was particularly good? Edit: I gather you need experience of the National Curriculum. Does overseas experience count?

    Best wishes!
  14. Angelil

    Angelil Occasional commenter

    Hi CameronR

    I did my placement at a mixed state school in the south-east of England. As mentioned, I think Educators Abroad are very good at matching you up with a university and school that meet your need.

    Overseas experience (of any curriculum, but obviously of the NC helps!) does count. The assumption is that you meet the British standards already, and you are expected to prove this - the assumption is not that you DON'T meet the standards and that the university/school/your mentor are expected to teach you.

    Hope that helps a bit, and sorry for the delay in my reply.
  15. Hi all,

    Back to the same old question - I am currently considering doing this course. I take on board the comments above and was just wondering does anyone know what countries have the in-country tutors as these seem to be the best countries to take the course in. Also, I am a bit confused on the QTS - as far as I am aware no PCGE awards QTS (whether done in the UK or abroad). QTS is only acheived once you do a full years teaching after the PCGE - and you can do this year in the UK or elsewhere (as I know people who did it in Ireland). Is this the case?
  16. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    Yes, it does.

    A PGCE (and a B.Ed) done in UK both award QTS. You become a NQT - Newly Qualified Teacher. Hence you are qualified, have Qualified Teaching Status.

    But . . .

    But a successful induction year is necessary to enable you to teach in a maintained school in England and Wales. If you fail the induction year (or don't do it), you actually still have QTS, as they don't take it away from you. but are not allowed to teach as a qualified teacher in a maintained school in E&W.

    An NQT who has completed induction, and is judged to have failed to meet the relevant standards at the end of their induction period, is not permitted to repeat induction (although they may appeal against the decision: see paras 4.6&ndash;4.7). While such an NQT does not lose their QTS, they cannot be employed lawfully as a teacher in a relevant school, including any post where they would carry out specified work. Their name is included on the list of persons, held by the National College for Teaching and Leadership, who have failed to satisfactorily complete an induction period.

    Yes, I know, it's daft!

    It's a bit stricter than just elsewhere.


    The Regulations specify that induction can be served in the following institutions:

    ? a relevant school in England &ndash; this includes: a maintained school; a nonmaintained special school; a maintained nursery school; a nursery school that forms part of a maintained school; a local authority maintained children&rsquo;s centre; and a pupil referral unit (PRU)

    ? a non-maintained nursery school

    ? an independent school in England (including academies; free schools; 16&ndash;19 academies; alternative provision academies; and city technology colleges) or independent nursery school subject to the circumstances set out in para 2.43

    ? a further education (FE) institution, including a sixth-form college, in the circumstances set out in para 2.3

    ? an independent school overseas which:

    o has been inspected by a DfE-accredited inspectorate within the last six years against the Standards for Inspection of British Schools Overseas; and

    o has satisfactorily met all of those standards/categories; and

    o is a member of an organisation which the DfE has determined may represent such schools

    ? a school or FE institution in Wales in which an induction period may be served under Welsh regulations

    What it boils down to is that these PGCE (Overseas) may be acceptable in a British School Abroad, but not in the UK.

    They are not even qualifiers that allow you to do an induction course:

    An NQT cannot undertake statutory induction (or a period of employment counting towards induction) unless they have been awarded QTS. Headteachers/principals and appropriate bodies must check with the National College for Teaching and Leadership that the individual holds QTS.

    To obtain QTS without doing the PGCE, you need to have a degree from a recognised university ( http://www.ecctis.co.uk/naric/Default.aspx), and do the Assessment-only QTS.


    N.B. there is a "capacity to teach" health criterion for AO, as well as DBS and criminal record checks. As there is for a PGCE in the UK, of course.

    Here is the link to Educators Abroad mentioned above. This is not a recommendation in any way. I have my doubts about a two-week placement awarding QTS.


    Best wishes


    Meet Theo on line on the TES JobSeekers Forum, where she answers jobseeking and careers queries regularly each week.
  17. Angelil

    Angelil Occasional commenter

    That's a bit unfair, as the award of QTS is not only based on a 2-week placement (far from it!). You have to compile the same file of evidence as a training teacher in the UK would have to, and undergo a minimum of 6 observations (requiring a full 2-3 page lesson plan each time, of course) in your current school by your mentor (who also has QTS and has to write up a full observation report each time as well as giving oral feedback). You then have a minimum of 3 observations when an assessor from the university comes to visit your current school, with the same level of planning and feedback. Equally, in your placement school, you have to have a minimum of 1 formal observation in the 2 weeks before your final assessment (again, done by an assessor from the university). Think in the end I was observed closer to 20 times than 10. You also have to complete the same literacy and numeracy tests as any new UK teacher would have to.

    The assumption behind the AO route (as you probably already know!) is not that you are a brand-new teacher who requires training; the assumption is that you have sufficient experience to perform at a level equivalent to an already-qualified teacher, and the onus is on you and your mentor to prove it, as well as on the assessors to prove it.

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