Is anyone else taking a gap year before doing a pgce? Watch

Vitalite21
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I'm so upset I left it to late to apply to a pgce. The place where I applied to a pgce in post compulsory at first told me I would be able to do do English then tried to force me into doing skills for life literacy and esol. I'm not doing that because all I want to teach english to sixth form students but apparently I cant because although I have an English Degree I only have As English and colleges would mind.

I dont know what job I want to do for now. I dont want to go into retail. Its just not me. I feel so depressed and upset. Is there anyone in the same situation as me? Where are you guys applying and what are you looking to do before you start (hopefully after getting on) your pgce next year?
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tommytenmen
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I'm no expert, by any means, but I wouldn't think that your A Levels would bother any prospective employer too much. You've proven you have subject knowledge by gaining a degree and you've proven you can teach by passing your PGCE and gaining QTS. By this point for them to say "She's qualified in every sense... but wait, she didn't do A2 English, ditch her!" would be very petty.

Whoever told you that is probably voicing their opinion, saying they personally wouldn't consider you. But there are thousands of institutions out there with more open minded heads, governers and management, who would consider you as the candidate for the job, not just as a list of qualifications. To give you an example, I have a police reprimand for theft when I was 15. I have been told that this shows a serious character flaw, my utter dishonesty and untrustworthiness and I shouldn't bother trying to be a teacher, as I'll never get a job and I shouldn't be near kids. But I've also been told that everybody is young once, we all make mistakes and it's the person, and potential teacher I am now that matters, and they'd hire me after my PGCE. Two opinions by different head teachers.

I didn't apply for a PGCE in my final year, because I was concentrating on getting my degree without stressing about interviews etc. I plan to apply in October. I have enrolled with an agency to do supply teaching assistant work. Not only is this a source of money but it gives vital extra experience, both in terms of being in a school environment, and as leverage at interview. I hope to do this for a year. As for teaching English in a college, that is my aim too. But I intend to do an English PGCE, rather than post compulsary, as then I'm qualified across the board.
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myrtille
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(Original post by Vitalite21)
I'm so upset I left it to late to apply to a pgce. The place where I applied to a pgce in post compulsory at first told me I would be able to do do English then tried to force me into doing skills for life literacy and esol. I'm not doing that because all I want to teach english to sixth form students but apparently I cant because although I have an English Degree I only have As English and colleges would mind.

I dont know what job I want to do for now. I dont want to go into retail. Its just not me. I feel so depressed and upset. Is there anyone in the same situation as me? Where are you guys applying and what are you looking to do before you start (hopefully after getting on) your pgce next year?
It's totally normal to take a year out whilst applying for a PGCE, so don't worry about it.

Regardless of the A-Level issue (which strikes me as crazy - I got an interview for a secondary English PGCE and my degree is in something completely different!), it's very common to be unsuccessful in your first year of applying, and whilst it's annoying to have to take a year out, it could be an opportunity to gain experience.

I first applied for 2010 entry, was unsuccessful, then did an MA and was too busy with my course and other jobs to think about what I wanted to do after graduating. I then fell into agency work in schools more or less by chance at a time when I was out of work, got lots of great experience and realised that I enjoyed teaching regardless of the subject so applied for MFL as this is what I'm best qualified to teach.

I'm now starting my PGCE in a few weeks. It's 2 years later than I'd originally applied to start, but I definitely think it was worth it. I think a bit of time out of the student lifestyle has been good for me, and will make it easier to adapt to the pressures of the PGCE as I'm already used to getting up early, having a fairly lengthy commute to school, and putting in extra hours to get everything done.
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masamune1989
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I took a year out - well was more forced to as I was unsuccessful last year - and believe it has really benefitted me to do so.

I spent the year volunteering in a school, helping with planning and resource making and by the end was allowed to teach some of the materials and have done an MA at the same time. Whilst an MA isn't for everyone, I do think I'll be better adapted to the post grad nature of the PGCE as I've grown accustomed to that style of eduction.

If you are certain this is what you want to do, use the year to your advantage and get some solid experience for your application! Good luck.


This was posted from The Student Room's iPhone/iPad App
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Furbiiee
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I'm taking a gap year out but it's more forced seeing as I was unsuccessful this year. Although at the moment it's already benefitting me!

I've got a part time job at my local pub which I'm grateful for having and it's giving me a fair bit of life experience as well as experience in terms of having to deal with awkward customers (might help in having to deal with disruptive students. Who knows!). Also emailing/ringing round every single secondary school in Bradford/Leeds/Halifax to get some more experience (have three years experience shadowing teachers at my old secondary school, was an Aimhigher Associate at university and also a Student Ambassador which meant I was constantly working with Secondary school ages pupils and year 6 students who were in the transition from primary to secondary). Trying my best to contact Pupil Referral Units too. Did have some experience lined up at the new Free School opening in Bradford at the Valley Parade football ground but funding was cut so the school can't open until September 2013. But the search for more experience is still going on (what other universities have told me I need)

Applied to CCCU through Clearing earlier on today and they were at first a little bit weary as I have a 2:2 in my degree and then they said they couldn't consider me for interview as I have a D in my A-Level History. (Been predicted a 2:2 throughout the whole PGCE application process and have had interviews at good PGCE institutes despite the quite poor A-Level grade...)

Also considering applying to GTP if I can this year. But taking a year out is already making me more determined to get a place for 2013 entry just because it's annoying me that I know this is what I really want to do with my life!
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username812758
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(Original post by Vitalite21)
I'm so upset I left it to late to apply to a pgce. The place where I applied to a pgce in post compulsory at first told me I would be able to do do English then tried to force me into doing skills for life literacy and esol. I'm not doing that because all I want to teach english to sixth form students but apparently I cant because although I have an English Degree I only have As English and colleges would mind.

I dont know what job I want to do for now. I dont want to go into retail. Its just not me. I feel so depressed and upset. Is there anyone in the same situation as me? Where are you guys applying and what are you looking to do before you start (hopefully after getting on) your pgce next year?
Have you looked at seeing if you can sign up to an agency that does cover supervising? That'd give you experience, and let you earn pretty decent money at the same time better than minimum wage shop work at least
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myrtille
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(Original post by flamingoshoes)
Have you looked at seeing if you can sign up to an agency that does cover supervising? That'd give you experience, and let you earn pretty decent money at the same time better than minimum wage shop work at least
I'd second this, because this is what I did from November to July, but would also advise caution.

If you're still living with parents, or a partner who can support you, I'd say go for it. But if you have rent to pay, it's probably not worth doing something so insecure.
Between October half-term and Christmas I worked full-time as a technician in a Food Tech department, at approximately minimum wage. It was good fun, good experience, and a steady income for those 7.5 weeks. But during the Christmas holidays, and the first week of term, I had no work and no income. January and February were very patchy and some weeks I only got one day's work. After February half-term, things really picked up, and I landed 2 long-term cover posts in my subject area, so worked more-or-less full-time from then until the end of term, but again, with no pay at Easter, half-term, and bank holidays.

If you go down this route, my advice would be to view every day of cover you do as an interview. If you do a good job and impress the school, they might ask for you next time they need cover and you'll get more work. Also, agencies are likely to give you more work if they keep getting positive feedback.
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lozmond
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try and get a job as a Level A Teaching Assistant - its regular work with not terrible pay - around £700/month. If you also need to find rent money then it doesnt leave you too exhausted to have a second pub or retail job.You could easily pick up some christmas temping that could turn into a more regular job if you do well. It also makes you must more likely to get a place on your PGCE.
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redwood_phoenix
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Hey,

I finished my BA last summer, and have just finished an MA (Linguistics/English Language type stuff). It was pretty much during my MA year that I decided I want to go down the teaching route. I'm taking this year to gain experience and hopefully earn a bit of money. Not to mention the fact that I just sorta feel done/need a break from uni right now.

Luckily I managed to get myself a job (start next week! eek!) in a local school. I'm working part time as an unqualified English teacher, and part time as a cover supervisor. I'd originally applied for a cover supervisor role and was rather shocked to get a phone call seeing if I'd be interested in a teaching role! I've done English Language at A Level and as my BA, but haven't done English Lit, so I was a bit worried about this at first, but the school are aware of this so should all be okay. I'm looking forward to starting and getting some good school-based experience. I've worked with kids before - I help out at Guide Units and have worked at American Summer Camps but hadn't done anything in school prior to applying.

As others have mentioned - keep an eye open for support staff positions e.g. cover supervisors particularly ones based in a particular school. My county's website were great for advertising such posts on their website.

I'm going to see how the next term or so goes (job is temporary for a term or so until they find a qualified teacher to take on the post) but hoping to apply for teacher training for next September. I'll be looking to do PGCE Secondary English - but would, at some point, love to be able to teach some A Level English Lang. It's possible I could do some training with my school but otherwise will be looking at providers in the South/South-East e.g. Reading because it's close to home!
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evantej
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(Original post by Vitalite21)
I'm so upset I left it to late to apply to a pgce. The place where I applied to a pgce in post compulsory at first told me I would be able to do do English then tried to force me into doing skills for life literacy and esol. I'm not doing that because all I want to teach english to sixth form students but apparently I cant because although I have an English Degree I only have As English and colleges would mind. […]
I did a masters degree straight after my undergraduate degree. I applied for a PGCE during the year, because of circumstances, but felt it was not the right time and it came across in the interviews, especially in the secondary interviews. After I finished my masters degree I worked full-time in a prison education department and knew that I did not want to teach secondary. I applied for a PGCE again and got on. I was so confident that I only made one choice on GTTR. So I will start my (part-time) PGCE two years after I finished my undergraduate degree, and a year after my masters.

With regards to the PGCE PCET, I think you are a little naïve. The university is obliged to arrange a placement of at least 150 hours over the year for a full-time programme. The reason they are nudging you towards ESOL and skills for life is to make it easier for them in terms of arranging you a placement, and also to give you a better chance of employment after graduating. The simple fact is that if you are only willing to teach A level students then it is going to be difficult to make up the required hours and you will simply not have the type of experience most colleges require (i.e. teaching literacy on an embedded vocational course, ESOL speakers, or even GCSE students for that matter).

I have encountered similar issues with A levels. I absolutely bombed my A levels, do not have any of the certificates, and do not know the exact marks or grades I received. I remember a set of interviewers completely losing it, not knowing how to deal with the situation (they could not understand how I did so badly back then but was so good now). I cannot remember whether there is a statutory minimum standard you have to achieve like with primary and secondary PGCEs (i.e. grade C or above in English and mathematics and an undergraduate degree) so let the university deal with the colleges or schools. It is not like you are going to go back and do the A2 for their convenience. It is more likely that they are just being a bit short with you since you applied late and had unreasonable expectations; in short, do not worry about it! Just apply early next year (i.e. in a month's time) and you will be fine.
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london_toon
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So let me get this right, you can get a job as a teaching assistant or supply teacher etc without even doing the pgce?

I've just graduated from uni, Law LLB, and its too late to apply for a pgce primary for this yr, so i was going to apply for next year. In the mean time i thought i would start volunteering at a local primary school and look for any job so i can get paid. I didnt know you could get a job like a Teaching assistant etc before.

Is it likely that i would get a job or should i just volunteer? And how do you even get a job without experience or knowing what to do.
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myrtille
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(Original post by london_toon)
So let me get this right, you can get a job as a teaching assistant or supply teacher etc without even doing the pgce?

I've just graduated from uni, Law LLB, and its too late to apply for a pgce primary for this yr, so i was going to apply for next year. In the mean time i thought i would start volunteering at a local primary school and look for any job so i can get paid. I didnt know you could get a job like a Teaching assistant etc before.

Is it likely that i would get a job or should i just volunteer? And how do you even get a job without experience or knowing what to do.
A PGCE qualifies you as a teacher. A Teaching Assistant is not a teacher so you don't need the same qualifications. However, there are various NVQs and things that some TAs will have done, and some job adverts will state 'unqualified' whereas others will specify a specific level, and expect a lot of experience (for example, in working with pupils with special educational needs). So not all TA roles are open to the totally unqualified (and obviously they'll all be expecting some experience working with children), but some are. Look on your city council/county council website for TA jobs.

Supply Teachers are qualified teachers who work for LEAs or agencies and are sent into schools to teach, usually when a permanent teacher is absent (sickness, maternity leave, teachers away on courses, primary PPA time, etc.). So you can't work as a Supply Teacher without having QTS.

However, Cover Supervisors are not qualified teachers and aren't supposed to teach. CSs cover (rather than teach) lessons, by getting the class settled, taking the register, and then giving instructions or handing out worksheets prepared by a qualified teacher. They supervise the pupils to carry out the work set, rather than actually teaching them, and consequently don't require QTS. Many schools have a handful of CSs permanently employed in the school, ready to cover lessons at the last minute. But when there are a lot of absences, they may also call in external CSs from an agency. If a teacher is off long-term, they're more likely to get a Supply Teacher.

That said, the line is pretty blurry. There are some CSs who are qualified teachers, doing the job because they couldn't get a teaching job, or because it fits in better with family commitments. There are also many who are hoping to train as teachers, so obviously are going to push themselves to gain extra experience and do a little bit of teaching whilst covering lessons. CSs are much cheaper than Supply Teachers, so if schools can exploit them to do more, they will. Additionally, a few weeks ago the government announced that academies can now employ unqualified staff to teach, which will probably lead to a rise in the use of Cover Supervisors.

I worked as a CS from January to July, but in reality spent 15 weeks (5.5 in one school, 9.5 in another) working as an unqualified French teacher. I feel strongly that the schools were more bothered about saving money than about getting the best person for the job, although obviously I did my best and colleagues said I was doing really well. But when you're doing irregular agency work which doesn't always cover your basic living costs, you don't really have the option to turn down work.
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laurengillsy
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I'm taking a gap year and really worries how travelling is going to effect interviews, pgce is so important to me, and I would come home just trying to get things sorted for January. I have emailed the places I am thinking of applying its just really stressing me out!!!

any one else going through this?
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myblueheaven339
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(Original post by Keziah)
A PGCE qualifies you as a teacher. A Teaching Assistant is not a teacher so you don't need the same qualifications. However, there are various NVQs and things that some TAs will have done, and some job adverts will state 'unqualified' whereas others will specify a specific level, and expect a lot of experience (for example, in working with pupils with special educational needs). So not all TA roles are open to the totally unqualified (and obviously they'll all be expecting some experience working with children), but some are. Look on your city council/county council website for TA jobs.

Supply Teachers are qualified teachers who work for LEAs or agencies and are sent into schools to teach, usually when a permanent teacher is absent (sickness, maternity leave, teachers away on courses, primary PPA time, etc.). So you can't work as a Supply Teacher without having QTS.

However, Cover Supervisors are not qualified teachers and aren't supposed to teach. CSs cover (rather than teach) lessons, by getting the class settled, taking the register, and then giving instructions or handing out worksheets prepared by a qualified teacher. They supervise the pupils to carry out the work set, rather than actually teaching them, and consequently don't require QTS. Many schools have a handful of CSs permanently employed in the school, ready to cover lessons at the last minute. But when there are a lot of absences, they may also call in external CSs from an agency. If a teacher is off long-term, they're more likely to get a Supply Teacher.

That said, the line is pretty blurry. There are some CSs who are qualified teachers, doing the job because they couldn't get a teaching job, or because it fits in better with family commitments. There are also many who are hoping to train as teachers, so obviously are going to push themselves to gain extra experience and do a little bit of teaching whilst covering lessons. CSs are much cheaper than Supply Teachers, so if schools can exploit them to do more, they will. Additionally, a few weeks ago the government announced that academies can now employ unqualified staff to teach, which will probably lead to a rise in the use of Cover Supervisors.

I worked as a CS from January to July, but in reality spent 15 weeks (5.5 in one school, 9.5 in another) working as an unqualified French teacher. I feel strongly that the schools were more bothered about saving money than about getting the best person for the job, although obviously I did my best and colleagues said I was doing really well. But when you're doing irregular agency work which doesn't always cover your basic living costs, you don't really have the option to turn down work.
You can do supply as an unqualified teacher, but you are paid a lot less. You are referred to as either an unqualified teacher or an instructor.


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Lken2018
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I am also taking a year after graduation before I do my PGCE! This wasn't intentional, but I left it too late while doing my BA to apply, and instead decided to look at other options. However, I have realised that teaching is something I really want to do so I'm applying this month. Hopefully I'll be able to get a place.
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