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URGENT!!! employability of Citizenship NQTs

Discussion in 'Secondary' started by Mayenka, Jun 17, 2007.

  1. Hello everybody,

    I am facing a dilemma and need to make a decision in the next few days?

    I have been accepted in the Citizenship PGCE at Canterbury, and also in France.
    My heart would lean towards Canterbury, but I have been warned by non-specialists that Citizenship was entrusted to Humanities or Social Sciences teachers in their schools.

    Indeed, I checked the job section of this website and saw only 15 offers nationwide for Citizenship posts, against 115 offers for subjects like Humanities, Social Sciences, English?. I have also read that are roughly 200 NQTs in Citizenship arriving on the job market every year. The ratio job offers/applicants scares me a wee bit?

    I also read that most of the graduates of Citizenship PGCE find NQT posts teaching Citizenship with another subject.

    So my three questions concern the employability of NQTs coming from PGCEs in ?Citizenship?.
    Do they stand any chance against those coming from ?combined? PGCEs like Exeter (Citizenship with Humanities?) or Manchester (Social Sciences with itizenship?)?

    1 - Did people on ?Citizenship-only? PGCEs get to teach humanities/social sciences on their placements?
    Did it then allow them to be short6listed for humanities/citizenship, social sciences/citizenship, or purely humanities or social sciences jobs?
    Or do people need a degree or an A-Level/GCSE in a humanities/social sciences, on top of a placement experience, to be short-listed?*

    2 - And then, do you get enough experience and academic guidance when teaching these subjects on placement during the Citizenship PGCE to stand a chance against humanities/social sciences specialists at the interview?

    3 - Finally, if by any chance an ex-PGCE student from Canterbury University was reading this message, roughly what is the percentage of Citizenship graduates who found a job directly after leaving Canterbury university?

    I must decide this week and am getting scared by what the information I gather here and there? your insight on any of the above questions would be very much appreciated!!!!!!!

    Good luck to all of you and thanks for reading me,

    Maya

    * (Bonus question: Would a foreign (French) A-Level do? ?

     
  2. Hello everybody,

    I am facing a dilemma and need to make a decision in the next few days?

    I have been accepted in the Citizenship PGCE at Canterbury, and also in France.
    My heart would lean towards Canterbury, but I have been warned by non-specialists that Citizenship was entrusted to Humanities or Social Sciences teachers in their schools.

    Indeed, I checked the job section of this website and saw only 15 offers nationwide for Citizenship posts, against 115 offers for subjects like Humanities, Social Sciences, English?. I have also read that are roughly 200 NQTs in Citizenship arriving on the job market every year. The ratio job offers/applicants scares me a wee bit?

    I also read that most of the graduates of Citizenship PGCE find NQT posts teaching Citizenship with another subject.

    So my three questions concern the employability of NQTs coming from PGCEs in ?Citizenship?.
    Do they stand any chance against those coming from ?combined? PGCEs like Exeter (Citizenship with Humanities?) or Manchester (Social Sciences with itizenship?)?

    1 - Did people on ?Citizenship-only? PGCEs get to teach humanities/social sciences on their placements?
    Did it then allow them to be short6listed for humanities/citizenship, social sciences/citizenship, or purely humanities or social sciences jobs?
    Or do people need a degree or an A-Level/GCSE in a humanities/social sciences, on top of a placement experience, to be short-listed?*

    2 - And then, do you get enough experience and academic guidance when teaching these subjects on placement during the Citizenship PGCE to stand a chance against humanities/social sciences specialists at the interview?

    3 - Finally, if by any chance an ex-PGCE student from Canterbury University was reading this message, roughly what is the percentage of Citizenship graduates who found a job directly after leaving Canterbury university?

    I must decide this week and am getting scared by what the information I gather here and there? your insight on any of the above questions would be very much appreciated!!!!!!!

    Good luck to all of you and thanks for reading me,

    Maya

    * (Bonus question: Would a foreign (French) A-Level do? ?

     
  3. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    I would think that only a very large school could afford to employ someone who offers just citizenship given that it really is not a priority in secondary schools. Can your friend also offer a second subject to take up the 75% of the week when they are not employed in citizenship?
     
  4. Hi,

    Do you have a degree - which subject?
     
  5. Hi thanks very much for your reply!

    My French degree is in Politics... unfortunately from a teaching point of view, it seems...
    Thanks again for asking

    maya
     
  6. find a another subject, as said previoulsy you will almost certainly struggle to be employed as a full time citizenship teacher as it currently stands, find something else quick
     
  7. gmf

    gmf

    The truthful answer to your main question is - you're about as employable as HIPs assessors...

    I really would look for a 'real' subject, and also offer Politics (often 'Government & Politics') at A Level as well - often Pols teachers teach History, but you do need a NC subject that is taught distinctly - Citizenship just ISN'T, in most schools...sorry!
     
  8. Hi,
    I'm Head of Citizenship and am now coming to the end of my NQT year. I was employed straight off as Head of Department with no previous teaching experience, other than my PGCE of course! Every single person on my PGCE got a Citizenship post easily. This year I trained a PGCE Citizenship student and every single person on her course got a job too (25 ish each year). Also, there were (are) jobs going spare. This is in London and the South East (I work in Kent).
    Despite some comments here, Citizenship is a 'proper' subject and is being taken extremely seriously by Ofsted and any decent school. It is a fantastic subject that the kids really enjoy (when taught by a specialist or someone who is enthusiastic about it) and is brilliant to teach. The problem is most people are still uninformed about it and what it actually is, confusing it with PSHE and 'values education'.
    Yes, I do teach a second subject: RE. However, this is a quarter of my timetable and most of my colleagues teach some history, politics, sociology, geography, law or RE. Some do teach straight Citizenship. I have no RE qualifications and taught a little during my PGCE year. You don't have to be a specialist in every subject to teach it well! Citizenship is right up there in teaching you the latest learning and teaching methods. It is a great subject for developing your career - many of my friends have entered teaching as heads of department and subject leaders. It is also vital and valued by the kids. I would go for it.
     
  9. Just a little reminder that citizenship is a 'real' subject; it pays me a salary every month so it must be real! I am suprised that there is still such negativity surrounding the subject as when it is taught properly the students absolutely love it. It is also a subject that you can get a job in very easily - most schools don't advertise as there are so few specialists availble that they just try and fill the posts internally with comedy citizenship teachers! If you write to schools they would bite your hand off to have you in. Just a little example I qualified last year and to say that I am busy with citizenship work is an understatement. I found it incredibly easy to get work and was in fact offered jobs at both my teaching placements during my PGCE year. I have been promoted to Head of Citizenship and given a rather large payrise to match and my LEA have also asked me to do work for them. I also provide training to other schools and PGCE students in citizenship. Citizenship is one of the few subjects where if you want to you can climb the citizenship career path incredibly fast, much faster than anyother subject and the rewards are excellent. Plus I only teach citizenship - no other subjects involved! Oh and it will take 14 years to have one citizenship specialist in every school in the country at current teacher training rates - so if you can't get a citizenship job in those conditions then no-one can!
     
  10. I'd retrain before New Labour studies gets booted off the curriculum.

    AQA Source book, 2006, truncated

    "The United Kingdom Government takes equal opportunity very seriously and has set up special agencies to promote people?s rights. The Commission for Racial Equality provides advice on racial matters while the Equal Opportunities Commission promotes equal opportunities for men and women. More recently, the Disability Rights Commission started work to promote the rights of disabled people. In spite of this, discrimination sometimes takes place." (goes on ad nauseam).

    This is not education, this is propaganda.
     
  11. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    "Citizenship is a proper subject"

    It isn't a subject at all. I teach science and probably spend 25% of my time doing what you would regard as Citizenship but is really just understanding how the world works.
     
  12. gmf

    gmf

    "Oh and it will take 14 years to have one citizenship specialist in every school in the country at current teacher training rates"

    This assumes that all schools will want to employ Citizenship specialists - my experience of a number of schools in a variety of LEAs is that NONE of them are, or intend to...and they are all high achieiving schools. My guess is that it will largely be struggling/low attaining schools that will appoint Citizenship specialists.

    IMHO Citizenship specialism is a risky foundation to start a career...
     
  13. All of the PGCE Citizenship trainees I know have secured jobs for September! Surely that's a possitive thing? They are also very flexible and capable of teaching a variety of subjects ranging from Geography to the Social Sciences.

    From what I can gather employability is good - some even taking on positions of responsibhility (with TLR points) in their NQT year.

    The course I refer to has had a high employment rate since it began.

    Please listen to fact rather than opinion when making your decision.

    P.S. teaching Citizenship isn't the only possibility at the end of the course e.g. you may wish apply for positions teaching A level subjects that relate to you degree.
     
  14. blazer, just because there are links between subjects and their content does not mean they fail to count as a 'proper subject' - there are inevitable cross-curricular links.
    Also, if a subject is untraditional does this mean it is worthless? Does ICT, Business, Media etc then fail to be counted as a 'proper' subject?

    autismuk, I can appreciate your concern that Citizenship is propaganda, and I cannot account for all citizenship teachers, however I can assure you that my colleagues aim to create critical thinkers who challenge propaganda!

    Mayenka, I think your post has revealed what a hot and contentious topic Citizenship is and be prepared that if you choose to train in it you may have to fight your corner to convince some people! Schools increasingly are taking it more and more seriously however and it's great to be part of that process. Like the previous post said, make your decision based on fact. There are jobs out there and more and more to come.
     
  15. I agree with the posters who say that citizenship is not a "real" subject. The reason for this is that there is no real body of knowledge, as there is for any other subject. Citizenship at GCSE is what General Studies is post-16 - interesting and relevant, certainly, but NOT an academic discipline.
     
  16. Would it be easier to define or more acceptable if it was called 'Civics' or 'Social & Political Studies' or something like that?
    Where else in the KS3,4 NC do they learn about law, politics, economics etc?
    It was called 'Citizenship' I believe because it is intended to be an 'active' subject that teaches skills and knowledge to get involved in society, rather than just another 'factual' subject.
    It's an interesting debate.
     
  17. "there is no real body of knowledge" - that is not true - have you read the curriculum? There is a clear knowledge base.
     
  18. This thread contains so much misinformation and poppycock that it is difficult to know where to begin.

    I'll start with the employability issue. PGCE Citizenship graduates have proved amazingly successful in the job market, better than anybody expected when the courses were set up. Over 90% of my own successful graduates over the last 3 years had secured permanent teaching posts for the September immediately after the end their course. This year 8/11 who have successfully completed the course,and who are seeking teaching work have jobs lined up, and the others have interviews scheduled in the next few days. Similar figures are reported from all PGCE Citizenship courses nationally. Citizenship PGCE graduates, by the very nature of their subject, become multi-skilled and able to offer teaching in a number of areas (law, politics, economics, sociology, RE and more) and as such are very much in demand. I have had several instances of one of my Citizenship graduates applying for, and being offered, a job that was advertised for geography, RE or whatever - and being appointed in preference to specialists in those subjects because they were bringing an extra and missing dimesnion to the school. Citizenship graduates can expect rapid promotion - many become the Citizenship Co-ordinator with a healthy TLR before the end of their NQT year.

    Is Citizenship a subject/discipline in it's own right? It is emerging into one - there is a wealth of academic work going on worldwide in the area of Citzienship studies and Citizenship education. But the broader question is begged about what constitutes a 'subject' or 'discipline'. Some of the people diplaying their rather limited intellects on this thread miss the point by so much that it seems impossible they will understand this, but let's try. A 'subject' is an artificial construct designed in order to make school timetabling an easier task. Knowledge does not naturally package into discrete elements labelled mathematics/physics/history/economics or whatever; those are just convenient labels. The beauty of Citizenship education is that it draws together work from so many areas, and invites students to look at the world in a holistic way. Citizenship education is essentially about understanding how decisions are made in society, by individuals, groups, corporations and governments - inter alia - and how, as citizens, we are affected by, and can have a say in, those decision making processes. Education that pigeonholes knowledge into little boxes with little labels is bad education - and the evidence is here on this thread of people who have been the victims of that bad education because they actually believe that knowledge is about little packages.

    There is a hint in one of these posts that Citizenship is in some way an invention of 'new labour' and will pass away with them. Absolute nonsense! There has been a growing interest in Citizenship and Citizenship education since at least the end of World War One (the Council for Education in World Citizenship was established in the 1930s). Indeed it was Mrs Thatchers conservative government who set in motion the inclusion of Citizenship in the national curriculum, following the publication of the Weatherill Report in 1990 (Bernard Weatherill was Speaker of the House of Commons during Thatcher's premiership - and led a cross party investigation into the need for Citizenship education. Waetherill himself was a Conservative MP). When David Blunkett became the labour education secretary in 1997 he commissioned Bernard Crick to review how successful the changes brought about by the Weatherill Report had been, and when Crick reported "not very" changes were made to remedy the situation.

    And the growth in interest in notions of Citizenship, and in Citizenship education is not solely a UK phenomenon. 2005 was European Year of Citizeship Education. In 2006 I hosted 4 Professors from very influential education departments at Japanese universities who had come to the UK to see how we were managing Citizenship education here, because they were about to embark on a programme of Citizenship education there for all schools and all pupils.

    Citizenship is new, is developing, is growing. Becoming a Citizenship teacher is challenging; because you'll have to handle all the ill informed and negative comments from people who fail to understand what it is really about, and becuase you'll be charged with nurturing this new subject through its formative years. A challenge, but what an exciting one! It is the reason why Citizenship PGCE courses are so hard to get onto, and why so fewe are accepted - we take only the very best, because only they will have the ability and strength to make this happen.

    Citizenship education is here to stay.
     
  19. gmf

    gmf

    Re: Post 17

    Whilst you are, of course, entitled to your own opinion, you seem to have a vested interest here, and that may influence your views...

    You say:

    "Citizenship education is here to stay"

    I'm not convinced it is, at least not as a separate subject, because the schools I've worked in recently (& my own childrens' schools) DON'T have specialist Citizenship teachers, nor do they teach it as a spearate subject - that is the truth and - I think - tells its own story.

    You also say:

    "There is a hint in one of these posts that Citizenship is in some way an invention of 'new labour' and will pass away with them"

    Not just a hint - I think that this is true (both a new Labour invention - specifically Blunkett & Crick, and therefore tainted and bound to be short lived.)

    Am I right or are you? Time will tell, but I wouldn't encourage any new teacher to gamble a career on it - in my first school (early 1980s) there were 2 sociology teachers appointed in the early 1970s - neither was able to move on or up & in the harsher climate of today one or other would probably have been made redundant...
     

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