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School Direct or PGCE? 2014-15 Entry

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    Hello!

    I've recently been directed by my careers adviser at University to have a look at Schools Direct. The government website isn't particularly useful and I'd love to be able to speak to someone who has gone through/is going through the process of applying.

    I'm primarily looking at a Special Educational Needs School's Direct course which is what I am hoping to eventually go into...

    In anyone's experience, is School's Direct 'looked down on' or considered a reputable way of entering teaching? And has anyone gone through their PGCE/School's Direct with the ambition of going into SEN teaching eventually?

    Any advice would be greatly received- I've researched and researched online, but actually asking someone 'in person' would be great!

    Thank you Kirsty.
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    (Original post by Kirsty-Helen)
    Hello!

    I've recently been directed by my careers adviser at University to have a look at Schools Direct. The government website isn't particularly useful and I'd love to be able to speak to someone who has gone through/is going through the process of applying.

    I'm primarily looking at a Special Educational Needs School's Direct course which is what I am hoping to eventually go into...

    In anyone's experience, is School's Direct 'looked down on' or considered a reputable way of entering teaching? And has anyone gone through their PGCE/School's Direct with the ambition of going into SEN teaching eventually?

    Any advice would be greatly received- I've researched and researched online, but actually asking someone 'in person' would be great!

    Thank you Kirsty.
    I've just started my Schools Direct course so could be of some help. It is in no way looked down upon for starters! You actually spend more time in schools than someone on a PGCE, and I get the PGCE qualification alongside this (not all school direct courses offer this though, so you should check the ones you want to apply to do if its important to you). From the looks of it its going to give me an excellent standing in the world of teaching and I've even had NQT teachers at my school comment that they wish they could have done schools direct because you're treated like a proper member of staff from day one in school.
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    Ah, thank you. This is what I was worried about initially, because it was a new(ish) program that schools would perhaps find it to be too much of a risk.

    How did you find the competition to get onto it? I'm really worried that I'll apply for this School Direct placement (which they say has ten spaces) and then not get in and have to wait yet another year to get into teaching. Can you apply for a PGCE alongside it or do you really have to put 'all your eggs in one basket'? Thank you!
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    (Original post by Kirsty-Helen)
    Ah, thank you. This is what I was worried about initially, because it was a new(ish) program that schools would perhaps find it to be too much of a risk.

    How did you find the competition to get onto it? I'm really worried that I'll apply for this School Direct placement (which they say has ten spaces) and then not get in and have to wait yet another year to get into teaching. Can you apply for a PGCE alongside it or do you really have to put 'all your eggs in one basket'? Thank you!
    Competition is pretty fierce for any teacher training course and quite a few people have to try twice or three times to get on. Certain subjects at secondary are more competitive than others and primary is extremely competitive.
    They're changing the application process this year so that it all goes through the new ucas teacher training portal. You get three choices apparently, whether they be schools direct or pgce or SCITT and they are all sent to unis at the same time (instead of previous years where it was sent to first choice only until they make a decision then second and so on).
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    (Original post by Shelly_x)
    Competition is pretty fierce for any teacher training course and quite a few people have to try twice or three times to get on. Certain subjects at secondary are more competitive than others and primary is extremely competitive.
    They're changing the application process this year so that it all goes through the new ucas teacher training portal. You get three choices apparently, whether they be schools direct or pgce or SCITT and they are all sent to unis at the same time (instead of previous years where it was sent to first choice only until they make a decision then second and so on).
    Oh! That would be a brilliant change to the system. I was deathly afraid of sending in my application to this School's Direct one only to be rejected and that be the end of my application for 2014. I do have a back-up plan for a year out, but I really want to be able to start the process- I understand it's a long journey to be a qualified SEN teacher.

    Out of interest- why did you choose School's Direct rather than PGCE? What appealed?
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    (Original post by Kirsty-Helen)
    Oh! That would be a brilliant change to the system. I was deathly afraid of sending in my application to this School's Direct one only to be rejected and that be the end of my application for 2014. I do have a back-up plan for a year out, but I really want to be able to start the process- I understand it's a long journey to be a qualified SEN teacher.

    Out of interest- why did you choose School's Direct rather than PGCE? What appealed?
    More time in schools and being treated as a full member of staff in the school made it appeal to me more. PGCE students aren't treated the same because they're only there for one placement whereas I spend the majority of my time at my home school.
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    They both have their appeals, in SD you may be expected to work like a normal staff member which will result in more stress particularly on the salaried route and you need to check whether you get the full PGCE qual with SD. Advantage of PGCE is that it's recognised internationally especially in Australia, I've chosen the traditional PGCE route.
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    Hi there, I'm another current School Direct trainee, so thought I'd offer my thoughts.

    Everyone I've spoken to has said they think this system is an excellent ITT option, because you're in school so much more. It should be noted that although 'new' it really is effectively the old GTP course under a slightly different guise, so it isn't really a 'risk' as such, especially if your school is one that's done the GTP for years.

    I would say, having got my uni assignment information on Friday, that it's going to be A LOT of work, because we've got to do the same amount of academic work as the PGCE students but without ANY time out of school, apart from every other Friday when we have uni lectures. This is just my course, but if you're undertaking a School Direct course that comes with a PGCE qualification, then I imagine it would be much the same no matter where you're doing it.

    Also, there are some SEN specialist trainees on my course, so there definitely are places available for that.

    Good luck with whatever route you choose - they all have their unique benefits and pitfalls!
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    (Original post by TraineeLynsey)
    Hi there, I'm another current School Direct trainee, so thought I'd offer my thoughts.

    Everyone I've spoken to has said they think this system is an excellent ITT option, because you're in school so much more. It should be noted that although 'new' it really is effectively the old GTP course under a slightly different guise, so it isn't really a 'risk' as such, especially if your school is one that's done the GTP for years.

    I would say, having got my uni assignment information on Friday, that it's going to be A LOT of work, because we've got to do the same amount of academic work as the PGCE students but without ANY time out of school, apart from every other Friday when we have uni lectures. This is just my course, but if you're undertaking a School Direct course that comes with a PGCE qualification, then I imagine it would be much the same no matter where you're doing it.

    Also, there are some SEN specialist trainees on my course, so there definitely are places available for that.

    Good luck with whatever route you choose - they all have their unique benefits and pitfalls!
    Thank you everyone
    When you are in Uni every other Friday, are you placed with other School's Direct students or are the lectures based on everyone doing a PGCE course? I'm worried that although School's Direct might be best for me academically and a step in the door for my SEN progression, I might be sacrificing an interaction with other students who might have been able to help and guide if I had done PGCE.
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    (Original post by Kirsty-Helen)
    Thank you everyone
    When you are in Uni every other Friday, are you placed with other School's Direct students or are the lectures based on everyone doing a PGCE course? I'm worried that although School's Direct might be best for me academically and a step in the door for my SEN progression, I might be sacrificing an interaction with other students who might have been able to help and guide if I had done PGCE.
    If I may, I'd like to answer that question because I suspect the structure of my SD course is similar to TraineeLynsey's.
    Yes, I'm in Uni every Friday (starting from October 11), which is a full day training with other SD trainees. Having spent two full days at IOE at the end of August I can say that there's plenty of interaction with other students on those sessions because, as I guess, they are specifically designed for that purpose. On the other hand, we have school training sessions with another set of SD trainees - those who do SD at the same school but different subjects, so that is one more opportunity for sharing our experience. I think it's great.
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    Hi, as Iantan says, there's plenty of opportunity to meet other SD trainees.

    My uni has about 40 or 50 of us doing it this year, mostly Primary, but with a spattering of Secondary and a few SEN trainees. We have lectures and tutorials every other Friday (roughly) until Christmas, then a few more sessions after Christmas as well.

    A lot of schools take on more than one trainee, so some people see each other every day at school as well.

    You're also accepted as a member of staff almost immediately at school, so it's not like you're sitting in a corner by yourself all day!
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    Hi there!

    I am also looking into doing a Schools Direct teaching programme but I am only really in the early stages of researching the courses. One of the main things I am a tad confused about is how you go about finding a school that is willing to sponsor you? Are there lists of schools within particular areas that support the GTP/Schools Direct programme, or is it a case of writing to lots of surrounding schools in the hope that one will give you a position as an unqualified teacher to train on the job. It sounds like a great thing for trainee teachers but perhaps not as great a deal for the sponsoring school, as they have to pay us a salary when we are not yet qualified, and i was just wondering if it is very difficult to find a participating school?

    Many Thanks for any help!
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    Hi there!

    I am also looking into doing a Schools Direct teaching programme but I am only really in the early stages of researching the courses. One of the main things I am a tad confused about is how you go about finding a school that is willing to sponsor you? Are there lists of schools within particular areas that support the GTP/Schools Direct programme, or is it a case of writing to lots of surrounding schools in the hope that one will give you a position as an unqualified teacher to train on the job. It sounds like a great thing for trainee teachers but perhaps not as great a deal for the sponsoring school, as they have to pay us a salary when we are not yet qualified, and i was just wondering if it is very difficult to find a participating school?

    Many Thanks for any help!
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    Hello

    I am also looking to apply via the Schools Direct route in November this year. I went to an Open Evening this week, where they were saying that you apply directly to the school via UCAS. Does anyone know if this means that you are allowed to choose 3 schools (instead of universities) to apply to?

    Thank you!
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    I'm looking to do Primary School Direct, but what gets me is the entry requirements.

    I've got (and am re-sitting) the GCSEs, I've got the degree, but 300 UCAS points!? I didn't quite get that and I didn't need that much for undergraduate studies. Will they not accept me if I have a little less than 300 points? How important is it if I have everything else? :confused:
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    (Original post by strawberry fields)
    I'm looking to do Primary School Direct, but what gets me is the entry requirements.

    I've got (and am re-sitting) the GCSEs, I've got the degree, but 300 UCAS points!? I didn't quite get that and I didn't need that much for undergraduate studies. Will they not accept me if I have a little less than 300 points? How important is it if I have everything else? :confused:
    Is this a specific provider? My provider didn't state I needed this and all the others I looked at didn't either. I don't have 300 and I got on.
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    (Original post by #rebecca)
    Hello

    I am also looking to apply via the Schools Direct route in November this year. I went to an Open Evening this week, where they were saying that you apply directly to the school via UCAS. Does anyone know if this means that you are allowed to choose 3 schools (instead of universities) to apply to?

    Thank you!
    Yep, pretty much.
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    (Original post by Hollie285)
    Hi there!

    I am also looking into doing a Schools Direct teaching programme but I am only really in the early stages of researching the courses. One of the main things I am a tad confused about is how you go about finding a school that is willing to sponsor you? Are there lists of schools within particular areas that support the GTP/Schools Direct programme, or is it a case of writing to lots of surrounding schools in the hope that one will give you a position as an unqualified teacher to train on the job. It sounds like a great thing for trainee teachers but perhaps not as great a deal for the sponsoring school, as they have to pay us a salary when we are not yet qualified, and i was just wondering if it is very difficult to find a participating school?

    Many Thanks for any help!
    The schools that are participating have already applied for the programme and put forward the amount of trainees they need. There will be a list of providers published before the opening date of applications I should imagine and you then pick from them to apply. You apply to each individual school (or school alliance), unlike the pgce where you apply to the uni.
    It is worth bearing in mind that there are two routes, one is salaried and one is unsalaried. There is also an expectation that the school will employ you after you complete training. But this is not guarenteed.
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    Thank you Shelly_x!

    Is there any advice you could give with regards to preparing to apply for the Schools Direct route? I'm currently looking for classroom experience, applying to help out with the local Brownies and revising for the Literacy & Numeracy Tests.

    Thanks!
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    (Original post by #rebecca)
    Thank you Shelly_x!

    Is there any advice you could give with regards to preparing to apply for the Schools Direct route? I'm currently looking for classroom experience, applying to help out with the local Brownies and revising for the Literacy & Numeracy Tests.

    Thanks!
    Reflect on your classroom experience, read about current issues in teaching and do what you're already doing.

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