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    I'm looking for a change in career and am thinking about going into classroom teaching - but only at A level.

    i've been a professional musician for quite a while with a degree in music and also a degree in History. I have been teaching as a peripatetic music teacher, and am an external performance examiner for a leading uk music college


    i'd like to settle on teaching at A level - secondary does not really interest me as it does not get into the subject matter enough for me. I spent a day in a local high school to see what it was like and although the kids were great and it was a good day, it didn't grab me.


    PGCE course options available are for 16+ or a standard PGCE secondary music which also covers A level


    Which is the best option? I know the 16+ course does not allow secondary teaching, but I really don't want that!



    Is a 16+ PGCE taken seriously? Does it involve a QTS year following completion??


    Any answers are welcome amigos
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    Even if you don't want to teach 11-16s, it'll be a lot easier to get a job with that qualification.
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    Before you make a decision I would spend longer in a school. School days vary drastically day by day depending on the lesson, the class, the weather... the general mood of the school varies a lot. I'd try a few more days before ruling it out completely as a PGCE will definitely give you more options.
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    The best way in, although I can tell by reading your post that you're not going to like this, is to get a secondary PGCE in your chosen subject - in this case, music.

    The reason is that there aren't simply enough jobs going in the Further Education sector and if you get a PGCE in post-compulsory education (by the way, some of them do not even come with QTS - Qualified Teacher Status, meaning, for all technical intents and purposes, you're not a qualified teacher even after doing the PGCE) you're limiting your possibilities by 1000%. There are not enough jobs going around in general, let alone in FE, for that to be a smart idea ever, but especially right now!

    Also, many FE institutions are actually sixth form colleges tacked on to existing secondary schools.

    Now, this is where common sense comes in.

    If you go for an interview at a FE college attached to a secondary school, and you have a post-compulsory education PGCE and can only teach the 16-18 year olds and then someone comes along after you who has just as much experience as you, a good CV, and interviews just as well, but they can also teach lower down the curriculum and take lessons with the under 16s... be realistic here, who do you think they will choose? I would say 96%+ of the time they will choose the other person who is more flexible (assuming you're equal or near enough in every other way).

    So not only are you limiting your teaching options by saying I want to teach FE - which is limiting enough, but fair enough, I completely understand your preference as I share it myself, though with a different subject - but then you're also limiting yourself because when you DO get an interview at an FE college, you don't have that flexibility of being able to teach other key stages should the need suddenly arise (the other music teacher might go on maternity leave, or be on sick leave for a month etc etc.).

    Basically... secondary PGCE in music is the best way in, EVEN if you only ever want to/end up teaching at post-16.

    I want to be a sociology teacher at post-16 (AS/A2). I plan on doing a secondary social science PGCE that will give me QTS, and allow me to teach sociology at GCSE, AS and A2, as well as citizenship and RE at key stage 3. I don't want to teach RE or citizenship, but I am fully aware that saying I can only teach sociology at AS/A2 will more than likely lead to several years without a teaching job. I do not see the point in doing teacher training, if I cannot get a job teaching, and have to work at ASDA for 5 years.

    Making yourself more employable should always be the goal - don't make yourself less employable if you can help it, and, right now, you can! Like I said, I understand not watching to teach in schools so much, I am the complete same, but in life there are compromises and other things that sometimes you have to work with to get to where you want to be. Some people aren't willing to make them (there's an infamous poster in this education & teaching sub-forum who comes to mind) and thus will probably never be a teacher. People don't just walk in to teaching jobs these days, like every other sector, it's tough. Keep your options open from the go and then you have the options of narrowing down later on. It doesn't work the same in reverse.
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    (Original post by Deja Vu)
    The best way in, although I can tell by reading your post that you're not going to like this, is to get a secondary PGCE in your chosen subject - in this case, music.

    The reason is that there aren't simply enough jobs going in the Further Education sector and if you get a PGCE in post-compulsory education (by the way, some of them do not even come with QTS - Qualified Teacher Status, meaning, for all technical intents and purposes, you're not a qualified teacher even after doing the PGCE) you're limiting your possibilities by 1000%. There are not enough jobs going around in general, let alone in FE, for that to be a smart idea ever, but especially right now!

    Also, many FE institutions are actually sixth form colleges tacked on to existing secondary schools.

    Now, this is where common sense comes in.

    If you go for an interview at a FE college attached to a secondary school, and you have a post-compulsory education PGCE and can only teach the 16-18 year olds and then someone comes along after you who has just as much experience as you, a good CV, and interviews just as well, but they can also teach lower down the curriculum and take lessons with the under 16s... be realistic here, who do you think they will choose? I would say 96%+ of the time they will choose the other person who is more flexible (assuming you're equal or near enough in every other way).

    So not only are you limiting your teaching options by saying I want to teach FE - which is limiting enough, but fair enough, I completely understand your preference as I share it myself, though with a different subject - but then you're also limiting yourself because when you DO get an interview at an FE college, you don't have that flexibility of being able to teach other key stages should the need suddenly arise (the other music teacher might go on maternity leave, or be on sick leave for a month etc etc.).

    Basically... secondary PGCE in music is the best way in, EVEN if you only ever want to/end up teaching at post-16.

    I want to be a sociology teacher at post-16 (AS/A2). I plan on doing a secondary social science PGCE that will give me QTS, and allow me to teach sociology at GCSE, AS and A2, as well as citizenship and RE at key stage 3. I don't want to teach RE or citizenship, but I am fully aware that saying I can only teach sociology at AS/A2 will more than likely lead to several years without a teaching job. I do not see the point in doing teacher training, if I cannot get a job teaching, and have to work at ASDA for 5 years.

    Making yourself more employable should always be the goal - don't make yourself less employable if you can help it, and, right now, you can! Like I said, I understand not watching to teach in schools so much, I am the complete same, but in life there are compromises and other things that sometimes you have to work with to get to where you want to be. Some people aren't willing to make them (there's an infamous poster in this education & teaching sub-forum who comes to mind) and thus will probably never be a teacher. People don't just walk in to teaching jobs these days, like every other sector, it's tough. Keep your options open from the go and then you have the options of narrowing down later on. It doesn't work the same in reverse.
    All PGCEs confer some form of qualified teacher status; PGCE PCETs confer QTLS. The government introduced changes a while ago to make QTSs transferable so someone from FE could teach in secondary schools without any issues at all. so Perry much everything you said on that is wrong. Your general points about employment prospects are right though.
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    (Original post by evantej)
    All PGCEs confer some form of qualified teacher status; PGCE PCETs confer QTLS. The government introduced changes a while ago to make QTSs transferable so someone from FE could teach in secondary schools without any issues at all. so Perry much everything you said on that is wrong. Your general points about employment prospects are right though.
    I assume you mean pretty, not Perry?

    Pretty much everything I said on that was wrong...

    You mean the one line out of a 37 line post?

    Damn. 1/37 isn't bad odds, I'd say I'm pretty pleased with that Thanks for the input, though!

    Also even if QTS is transferable across different ages now it makes little difference with regards to employment prospects. Once you have QTS you can practically teach any subject you wish, but if someone tries to get a job teaching mathematics with a PGCE in Citizenship then chances are they will be bottom of the pile under all the other applicants who have a PGCE in maths. It's just the way it goes.

    Like I said, OP should be trying to make himself more employable, not less so.
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    (Original post by Deja Vu)
    I assume you mean pretty, not Perry?

    Pretty much everything I said on that was wrong...

    You mean the one line out of a 37 line post?

    Damn. 1/37 isn't bad odds, I'd say I'm pretty pleased with that Thanks for the input, though!

    Also even if QTS is transferable across different ages now it makes little difference with regards to employment prospects. Once you have QTS you can practically teach any subject you wish, but if someone tries to get a job teaching mathematics with a PGCE in Citizenship then chances are they will be bottom of the pile under all the other applicants who have a PGCE in maths. It's just the way it goes.

    Like I said, OP should be trying to make himself more employable, not less so.
    I was typing on my mobile phone so excuse the spelling mistake. Having said that, it was not just one sentence that was wrong in your post as you believe.

    You tried to persuade someone interested in post-compulsory education to do a secondary PGCE to improve their employment prospects. You suggested some PGCE PCETs do not confer QTS. This is wrong. No PGCE PCET confers QTS so your point is irrelevant.

    You suggested a consequence of the above situation is that you are considered unqualified even after gaining a PGCE. This is wrong. You gain QTLS and, because of recent changes, equivalence with those who teach in primary and secondary schools.

    You suggested not doing a secondary PGCE will limit their employment opportunities, and used the inability to teach other key stages as an example. The above (and below) shows this is not the case. The reality is if the person is unlikely to find employment it is because no one is looking to employ a music teacher full stop, not because the candidate is inflexible (i.e. music is a niche subject). It is also worth bearing in mind that employment opportunities in further education might be greater not smaller because of the diversity and number of courses delivered (e.g. foundation degrees). For example, a music teacher could contribute to computing, media, performing arts etc., etc...

    You suggested many further education institutions are just sixth form colleges tacked onto existing secondary schools. This is wrong. A sixth form college exists as an independent institution or within a larger further education college. A secondary school that has a sixth form is not a sixth form college. The number and variety of subjects it delivers completely depends upon the circumstances of the school itself (e.g. staffing levels) and the education policy of the county. For example, in my rural county all high schools have sixth forms because it is the most cost-effective and logistically sensible way to deliver education. This means the closest college only delivers vocational education. But the one in the nearest city delivers both. Few teachers in a secondary sixth form – if any – will teach only A level students (unlike at a sixth form college). Secondary schools therefore deliver A levels in exactly the same way as the local council does (i.e. on a piece meal basis).

    The main point was right. Your advice works for your own situation. But your post was highly misleading (probably because you have never worked in further education before?).
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    (Original post by evantej)
    insert whatever you said here, too long and made the page scrooooooooooooll on and on...
    I'm sorry, I disagree with you still, but I accept you have your own opinion on things that are different to mine in this instance

    The QTS thing was one point. Seriously. If you go back and reread it, you will see that. If you can't see that, then I am afraid you have misunderstood my post and/or had a reading comprehension fail! The QTS thing was never my main point or argument, that wasn't why I made the post, it was just a throwaway comment that I was obviously clearly mistaken about, and thanks for correcting me on it But apart from that, I stand by the rest of my post regardless and would post the same thing again without the QTS line should the situation arise.

    If you want, you can virtually cross or delete that line in your mind, if it makes it easier for you, but the rest of the stuff, I still agree with what I said.

    I do have experience in FE, but congratulations on your failed attempt to patronise me! Very smooth, there. Better luck next time, eh?
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    Thanks for the considered replies. It's as I feared - I'll have to do a secondary PGCE.

    My reason for wanting to do classroom FE teaching is pretty simple; I want to teach those who actually want to be there; those who have chosen the subject. To be honest, and apologies for being blunt, but it's my idea of hell having to stand in front of year 7, 8 & 9' who are there because they have to be there especially if it's a disruptive bunch.. I don't want to waste my time and energy on thinking of ways to engage children who couldn't give a damn about a subject I'm bloody good at & passionate about....
    So..... Plan B;

    do something else... Lol.



    Thanks again
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    (Original post by uandi)
    Before you make a decision I would spend longer in a school. School days vary drastically day by day depending on the lesson, the class, the weather... the general mood of the school varies a lot. I'd try a few more days before ruling it out completely as a PGCE will definitely give you more options.
    I agree.
    Also, like someone else has said, it will probably be easier to get a job with the 11-16 pgce.
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    (Original post by Dawgy)
    Thanks for the considered replies. It's as I feared - I'll have to do a secondary PGCE.

    My reason for wanting to do classroom FE teaching is pretty simple; I want to teach those who actually want to be there; those who have chosen the subject. To be honest, and apologies for being blunt, but it's my idea of hell having to stand in front of year 7, 8 & 9' who are there because they have to be there especially if it's a disruptive bunch.. I don't want to waste my time and energy on thinking of ways to engage children who couldn't give a damn about a subject I'm bloody good at & passionate about....
    So..... Plan B; [...]
    You do not have to do a secondary PGCE at all. Read my replies to see why.

    For what it is worth, I think you are a little naïve to think that behavioural and motivational issues go away as soon as you go into further education. In fact, they often become even more important with mature students, especially those who have negative previous experience with the education system.

    (Original post by Deja Vu)
    I'm sorry, I disagree with you still, but I accept you have your own opinion on things that are different to mine in this instance

    The QTS thing was one point. Seriously. If you go back and reread it, you will see that. If you can't see that, then I am afraid you have misunderstood my post and/or had a reading comprehension fail! The QTS thing was never my main point or argument, that wasn't why I made the post, it was just a throwaway comment that I was obviously clearly mistaken about, and thanks for correcting me on it But apart from that, I stand by the rest of my post regardless and would post the same thing again without the QTS line should the situation arise.

    If you want, you can virtually cross or delete that line in your mind, if it makes it easier for you, but the rest of the stuff, I still agree with what I said.

    I do have experience in FE, but congratulations on your failed attempt to patronise me! Very smooth, there. Better luck next time, eh?
    I do not care whether you disagree with me. It is completely irrelevant. What is relevant is the fact you were wrong about a number of very basic things you were trying to advise someone else about. On top of that, your advice was not even that good.

    Music is relatively vocational so there is no reason why the OP should follow your advice, assuming they will be more employable with a secondary PGCE than with a PGCE PCET. If they went for the latter they could organise placements in non-academic classes to make themselves more employable in the long run (e.g. media and performing arts are big areas for most further education colleges). This is much better than being able to teach earlier key stages, which he does not want to do anyway; not that there is anything stopping him doing that with a PGCE PCET anyway. The benefit of having a secondary PGCE are minimal at best given his aspirations and interests.

    I was not patronising you. I made an assumption based on what you wrote in this thread, which would lead anyone to think you had little or no experience in further education. Having had a look through some of your previous posts, you do have some voluntary experience in a number of settings. Quite a bit for someone applying for a PGCE. But that is about it.
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    Dawgy, when I started teacher training I thought, like you, that A level teaching was what I really wanted to focus on, and I dreaded teaching KS3. All that boring plodding through the basics, all the behaviour management problems...I just wanted to be with the kids who were more mature and were passionate about their subject and wanted to do it rather than being forced to do it. I envisaged lovely lessons where we'd have really stimulating, university-seminar style discussions, allowing me to actually use what I learned during my degree.

    Was I naive!

    Post 16 education is not the elysian fields of teaching many people imagine it to be. You have exactly the same behaviour management problems and motivation problems that you have in the younger years, only it's worse, because you're dealing with people who don't respect your authority, think they know it all and just want to leave school and either go on their 'gap yah' or go and live it up at university. They often won't meet deadlines, often won't turn up to class, and often spend your lessons staring out of the window or talking about who they shagged last night/who they're going to shag tonight on the back row, and giving them detention or threatening to call their parents is met with a nonchalant 'so what?' shrug. With the leaving age for compulsory education going up in September, you're going to increasingly find students in the post-16 sector who don't want to be there and are just biding their time until they can get out and do what they really want to do. Also, many don't have the brains to be doing A levels (in my day, you had to get a string of As to stay on in sixth form - not so anymore) and you will find many struggle enormously with the demands of the curriculum, which puts a huge amount of pressure on you as a teacher, especially when you have a target A*-C % to meet.

    For me, KS3 has been the most wonderful experience. I teach curious, inventive and fearless kids who have loads of questions, loads of imagination, and require me to really use my brain to make my knowledge accessible to them. It's brilliant. Far from being pedestrian, it's made me rediscover so much of my subject that I hadn't studied in years, and I've had the most fantastic time learning alongside my students. Don't write them off based on preconceptions and one day in a secondary school.

    While you may be able to get a job in a secondary school with QTLS gained through a FE PGCE (not sure of the exact terminology here), the issue would be experience. Technically a secondary trained teacher can teach primary; in reality, no primary Head would hire a secondary teacher with no experience of primary teaching over a primary trained teacher.

    Many FE colleges are notorious for short term, hourly paid contracts and there is very little job security or opportunity, particularly in non curriculum/vocational subject areas. You would be severely limiting yourself if your only experience was in post-16 education, regardless of whether your qualification was transferrable between sectors. It's not necessarily about the qualification and more about the experience.

    I'd recommend getting a week or so's observation experience in a school and see how you feel after that. You may still hate it, but you might just see a different side.

    Good luck with your decision.
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    (Original post by evantej)
    xxx
    I'm sorry for disagreeing with you and upsetting you

    My opinion has not changed I am afraid.
 
 
 
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