say you get a BA in a certain subject because you want to teach that at secondary, then do your PGCE- but then decide its primary you'd rather teach... how do you go about it? Is it like a short conversion course you have to take, or do you have to go back to university to do another 3 years studying primary education?
Yep, once you do any teaching course you get Qualified Teachers Status which legally allows you to to teach any age range in compulsory education. You would want to get some experience first in order to be hired. You could take a returners course, which is intended for people returning to teaching, which would last 6-12 weeks.
Seriously? I'm really surprised because the curriculum at primary covers more than one subject, whereas if your a secondary teacher you dont teach more than two subjects. What about the different requirements needed at GCSE though, because secondary you just need your maths and english and primary you need science also? Thats really good news though did you find it out off the internet?
i think the pgces are forward but not backward compatible - so a primary school teacher can teach secondary but a secondary cannot teach primary. however, it's not often that you meet a primary school teacher in secondary school, but it does happen. in the same way, a secondary school pgce allows the teacher to teach post-16, but a post-16 pgce wouldn't allow you to teach in a secondary school. i could be wrong, but this is how it was explained to my partner and i when we graduated with pgces, but this was 4-5 years ago.
qts is awarded after a years further induction during your first jobs (your induction year), as it says on everybodies qts certificate when they first graduate (in small print under the big letters saying "qualified teacher status".
At the primary school I was doing work experience in last month the one the teachers was a secondary science PGCE graduate. And my boyfriend's mum trained to teach secondary English and now works in a primary school. So it can been done that way too.
I think the difference with PGCEs for FE is that they do not confer QTS. However, as has been said before, once a teacher you can theoretically teach it all. But please keep in mind that primary is very popular and I do not see schools employing many secondary teachers while there are primary ones out there without a job, unless you have a good profile, like Modern Foreign Languages and a native speaker.