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Working in International Schools with no PGCE?

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by FenellaIce, Mar 3, 2016.

  1. FenellaIce

    FenellaIce New commenter

    I'm looking for some advice as to whether I should really consider the PGCE, granted it will take me back to the UK where I really don't want to live.

    I've been teaching EFL in Spain for four years, and have recently moved to South Korea to teach in a primary school. I plan to return to Spain after this, and have a strong interest in working in an international school as a primary teacher. My options regarding a degree in Spain are basically doing a four year course, as I didn't do education at university. They don't have a system equivalent to the PGCE.

    I could also go back to the UK and do my PGCE, but I don't really want to do two whole years abroad, or live in the UK, to be honest.

    I have a CELTA course, but know that this isn't in any way a substitute for a teaching qualification. I was just wondering if anybody could give me some advice regarding my options or if it really is worth it to go back and do a PGCE in the UK.

    Thanks for your time.
  2. mikemcdonald25

    mikemcdonald25 Occasional commenter

    "is it really is worth it to go back and do a PGCE in the UK".

    JL48 and compostela2004 like this.
  3. miketribe

    miketribe Established commenter

  4. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    The more upmarket schools usually try to employ teachers with good qualifications. On the other hand, there are those well-known institutions in the ME where the fat is chewed and for them you will not need any qualifications. Or references. Or integrity.
  5. nemo.

    nemo. Occasional commenter

    100% yes. Because

    - it will make you a better teacher
    - it will greatly enhance your career
    - it will double your salary (well almost)

    I did a celta and taught for a while in Thailand and loved kids - primary school kids - so i had same dilema. Dont like to be in UK but went back and did 2 years post nqt year experience. It makes such a difference. I would recommend at least so a pgce and the NQT year.

    One thing about the celta first route it makes you get more from a pgce.
  6. Odyssey4

    Odyssey4 New commenter

    Hi EmilyLawrenson,

    Apologies if I am misreading your post, but you seem to be saying that you don't yet have a degree. You can only take a PGCE teaching qualification after you have passed a 3 or 4 year degree course. Alternatively you can choose to take a degree, usually 4 years, that confers QTS.

    Again, sorry if I have misunderstood you.
  7. Angelil

    Angelil Occasional commenter

    If you do have a degree already then you could still get work in an international school. Many people do this. However, as others have mentioned, working as an unqualified teacher may be very stressful if you lack experience and could negatively impact your salary.

    But getting a PGCE is not the only route to QTS and you may wish to look into some of these once you have even more experience (e.g. the assessment-only route). This would preclude the need to return to the UK for two years (also something that put me off as I had already established a life overseas with my husband). So I'd say it's the obtention of QTS that's important - not so much the PGCE.
  8. FenellaIce

    FenellaIce New commenter

    Sorry, maybe I wasn't clear. I have a degree, a 3-year one.
  9. FenellaIce

    FenellaIce New commenter

    Hah, you're right - just confirming what I was thinking really. As stated by others, it's a pain in the neck to have to go back to England (I really don't want to do it as leaving my SO for a year, ok...2 years, maybe. Three years! It's a really long time to be somewhere I don't want to be without the person I want to be with). This aside, thank you for your advice. So when you do the PGCE, it is always recommended to do a year in the UK. I have friends teaching in the UK, or friends who have recently quit teaching after their first/second year, so I'm a little sceptical about that. If you're not in London, is the work there?
  10. FenellaIce

    FenellaIce New commenter

    Exactly the same reason why I don't want to go back - I'm having a year abroad and then want to return to Spain, where I've established my life and my SO lives. 2/3 years is a long time to be away, especially if you know you don't want to be in a place. I'll have a look at the assessment-only route, but I have a feeling you have to teach in UK schools to be assessed? Or am I wrong on this one?
  11. FenellaIce

    FenellaIce New commenter

    Thanks for your advice. Sounds very similar to my experience. I always wanted to teach but ended up staying in Spain for longer than I expected (it was supposed to be a year), and now I'm working in teaching EFL, I enjoy it...but don't think career-wise it has too many prospects. I'm a little worried I've missed the boat.
  12. FenellaIce

    FenellaIce New commenter

  13. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    there are a number of online iPGCE available. they wont allow you to work in the UK with it, but why would you want to !!!! i have a bunch of friends who have gone down this route and are now employed in international schools. Sunderland University is the one name i remember, but other products are available.
  14. Malaguena

    Malaguena New commenter

    A good friend of mine did a distance learning MA in International Education or some such thing. She has never set foot in a UK school (well, not since she left school herself) and yet she is never out of work on the international circuit. She is a primary specialist. So if you don't want to come back to UK to teach, don't. There are other ways.
  15. miketribe

    miketribe Established commenter

    The big advantage of the one I posted the link to is that it's virtually free and they place you in a Spanish state school as a paid language assistant while you're doing the course...
  16. Angelil

    Angelil Occasional commenter

    Hello Emily

    For the AO route you need a minimum of 2 years' experience. Some of this should be in a UK school. I had already taught in my school overseas for 5 years when I started the AO programme and the university accrediting me/the NCTL just made me teach in a UK school for 2 weeks, which I came back to Britain to do in July 2014 (our school year finished at the end of the first week of July, so I did the final 2 weeks of the UK's school year as my placement).

    I personally don't see why you would bother with the IPGCE since, as others have stated, it doesn't come with QTS, whereas the PGCE and AO route both do. It's all very well to say "why would you want to come back to the UK" and "I'll never come back to the UK" and use this as justification for not obtaining QTS, but I'd say "never say never" - none of us know what our lives will hold in store for us and I wanted to feel confident that I could also teach in the UK/be recognised as a qualified teacher should I ever need to return.

    Hope that helps a bit.

    sabrinakat and FenellaIce like this.
  17. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Well, doing a PGCE would take a big chunk of your time and, in the short term, it could be an expensive thing to do. How relevant would it be? Well, this is a hard question to answer. It could be argued that doing a CELTA would also be useful and of course it would not take so long. In an ideal world, it would be best to have a CELTA and a PGCE as well.

    Yes, I have known teachers in international schools who have moved back to the UK. It does indeed happen. Family circumstances can change and sometimes people get homesick.
  18. musikteech

    musikteech Occasional commenter

    I have a CELTA and a PGCE. Teaching EFL is not very well paid unless you go to the Middle East although China isn't too bad nowadays either. TEFL in Spain I would imagine is low pay too, I'm guessing around 1200Euro a month. You can get £25k straight away once you get a PGCE after your nqt year. It's worth doing it in the UK and that's what employers want anyway. Teaching EFL in Korea is 2,1m won or £1200 per month with free housing so better than Spain where you have to fork out 300 euro for a flat. You will earn double that with a PGCE. Do the PGCE!
  19. miketribe

    miketribe Established commenter

    You would be VERY lucky indeed to clear 2,400 euros a month as a newly-qualified teacher in Spain, not matter what qualifications you have... In my experience, many schools here don't care much where your qualifications come from as long as you have them. There are a lot of Irish teachers here with Irish qualifications, along with quite a few Australians and Americans. They don't have PGCEs, either. Check out the Franklin Institute link I posted and see if that will meet your requirements. It would be a lot cheaper and less time-consuming than a PGCE...
  20. musikteech

    musikteech Occasional commenter

    2400 euros in Spain? Doubt it. More like 1500euros or 18k a year. 2400 euros is a lot in Spain

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