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Primary Education BEd Qualification??

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    I just wondered if anyone is able to answer a question as I've had a quick search on here but can't find anything. If I apply to Edinburgh for Primary Education (BEd) would that enable me to teach in England as well ?? I know the Structure of the Education systems are different but if not could anyone suggest any Universities with a good reputation please for Teaching/Education??

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    (Original post by Cupcake16)
    I just wondered if anyone is able to answer a question as I've had a quick search on here but can't find anything. If I apply to Edinburgh for Primary Education (BEd) would that enable me to teach in England as well ?? I know the Structure of the Education systems are different but if not could anyone suggest any Universities with a good reputation please for Teaching/Education??

    Thank You.
    Firstly, with teaching you need to forget about the traditional "good" university idea. All of the universities that offer teaching are ex teacher training colleges which either joined up with a traditional university or became a university in their own right and now offer other degrees as well. In teaching, the best universities are places like Roehampton, Canterbury Christ Church, Edge Hill and Liverpool Hope which wouldn't even come on many people's radar if they were thinking of applying for biology, for example. For example, the Edinburgh education school is actually called Moray House which was a teacher training college in its own right until it merged with the University of Edinburgh however even now, it is still very separate from the university.

    In terms of teaching, yes, if you train in Scotland then you can teach in England. You would have to register with the GTCE (well, technically whatever replaces the GTC as it is currently being reorganised) to allow you to teach in England, the registration process wouldn't be automatic like it would be with the GTC in Scotland. Once you've qualified in Scotland it would be recommended to do your probationary year in Scotland (you're guaranteed a job which is different to England) then move back to England if you wanted to do so although I would say that you may have to take some time out doing supply or other work whilst you look for a job. If you're teaching full time in Scotland it will be impossible to go back to England to visit schools and then go to job interviews meaning you would have to finish up in the summer in Scotland then have a term or so of supply/other jobs whilst you looked for a position where you wanted to be in England. This is normal for whenever you want to do a big locational move in teaching but it'd be also beneficial for you to get a wee bit of experience in English schools before committing yourself to a post as the curriculum is quite different, so even in terms of getting your head around the language used, it'd be a transition.

    Its harder to qualify in England then decide to move to Scotland than it is to train in Scotland then move to England. This is mostly related to the lack of jobs in Scotland - the unemployment situation for teachers in Scotland is much worse than in England; although the situation is pretty acute in certain parts of England too.
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    Thanks for the reply. Would it be better to do a degree first and then do a PGCE?? Thanks
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    (Original post by Cupcake16)
    Thanks for the reply. Would it be better to do a degree first and then do a PGCE?? Thanks
    It depends what you want to do.

    I did a degree first and then a PGCE even though I was pretty sure at 16/17 that I wanted to teach. I certainly don't regret that now and it's given me a lot of opportunities that a straight BEd wouldn't have given me, such as I've realised that I am very interested in educational policy (I did a social science degree) and this is an area I'd like to move into rather than teaching specifically, whereas if I only had an undergraduate degree in teaching it would be much harder to move into other areas of education which weren't specifically classroom based teaching. Essentially, it gives you more options for doing things other than teaching and sets you in a much stronger position within a school as better able to take on a position of subject leadership as you have more in depth knowledge of a particular area. You would also have more options to move into secondary education, for example, with a degree plus PGCE than you would with just a BEd degree.

    I've also found that my undergraduate experiences have crafted me as a teacher in a greater way than if I had done a straight undergraduate teaching degree as I did things like a year abroad, continued with my languages in addition to my degree and did a lot of travelling during my summers. I also held a high profile position in a society that I wouldn't have been able to do if I had been teaching due to the fact that placements would have got in the way of responsibilities there. I think I am a much better teacher at the age of 24 than I would have been if I'd gone directly into teacher training at 18 and got a job at 21.

    I also think that the undergraduate degree has a lot of extra faff which isn't really necessary. Even in 3 or 4 years you only do the same amount of time in school as someone does in a PGCE. The rest of the time is just in uni doing things. When I have had first and second year BEd students in my class I've always struggled to find things to do with them as to be honest, at 18, they're pretty inexperienced/not very confident as they're so young and given you only normally have them for 1 day a week it's difficult to get into any routine where they can actually do things with the children so most of them just end up doing things like putting up wall displays, photocopying and listening to the children read. The ones I've worked with don't actually have to do any full class teaching until they're in the 3rd year of their degree whereas PGCE students start teaching from the second week (the first week is an orientation week) because they generally have a lot more previous experience than the undergrads meaning they've already been full time teaching assistants/other people in school for a number of years before starting the PGCE.

    If you're at all contemplating doing a normal degree first then that's the route I'd recommend as it will give you a lot more options both within classroom teaching and also more widely as a graduate. I'm really really glad that this is what I did, I couldn't imagine having not done my degree first.

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Updated: March 19, 2012
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