Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Hi,

    I have been thinking about trying to get into teaching in the FE sector. I have a degree in Maths. A few years ago I started a Maths PGCE (secondary) but did not complete it, so I have some experience at secondary level. I liked A-level teaching but didn't particularly like working with the younger ones. Teaching Maths/Numeracy at post-16 and to adults appeals to me.

    My questions are as follows:

    1) Should I arrange some experience in this sector observing/volunteering etc before pursuing this? If so how do I go about this/how possible is it?

    2) How does it compare to secondary teaching? Does it have the same hours, workload, stress, pressure, behaviour problems etc?

    3) What is the best way to train for this? I know you can do a PTLLS course on its own. Should I do this and then try and get a job whilst being expected to do CTLLS/DTLLS later, or is it better to just do the PGCE PCET?

    4) Is the training as demanding as the Secondary PGCE?

    5) How difficult would it be to get a job lecturing Maths/Numeracy in FE/Sixth Form Colleges/Adult Education? Am I likely to be out of work a lot and having to take posts in schools?

    Thanks
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Anyone?
    Offline

    18
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Plato99)
    [...] I have been thinking about trying to get into teaching in the FE sector. I have a degree in Maths. A few years ago I started a Maths PGCE (secondary) but did not complete it, so I have some experience at secondary level. I liked A-level teaching but didn't particularly like working with the younger ones. Teaching Maths/Numeracy at post-16 and to adults appeals to me.
    My questions are as follows:
    1) Should I arrange some experience in this sector observing/volunteering etc before pursuing this? If so how do I go about this/how possible is it?
    2) How does it compare to secondary teaching? Does it have the same hours, workload, stress, pressure, behaviour problems etc?
    3) What is the best way to train for this? I know you can do a PTLLS course on its own. Should I do this and then try and get a job whilst being expected to do CTLLS/DTLLS later, or is it better to just do the PGCE PCET?
    4) Is the training as demanding as the Secondary PGCE?
    5) How difficult would it be to get a job lecturing Maths/Numeracy in FE/Sixth Form Colleges/Adult Education? Am I likely to be out of work a lot and having to take posts in schools? [...]
    1 – Given your circumstances, and the fact you want to teach mathematics, I think you might be able to get away without gaining further experience.

    2 – Further education is diverse. All the factors you mention will depend where you teach. For example, I worked for a further-education college in a prison. The work environment and students are far worse than a normal further education environment, but the work-life balance is much better. There is not the same pressure to get students to achieve, and once you leave work you really leave it.

    3 –In theory, you could do a PTTLS and then apply for teaching jobs. But realistically you are going to need a lot of support, especially if you work full time. Not everyone will be willing or able to provide the support you need. I think it is probably better for you to do a PGCE PCET so you get experience actually teaching further education classes. In addition, you will have the opportunity to gain a specialist diploma in numeracy.

    4 – It depends what you consider demanding. There are fewer contact hours and less variety in the sense there are probably more approaches and challenges to teaching different key stages in a secondary school. But some teaching will be more difficult in further education: in terms of content (i.e. A level) and sometimes in terms of learner (e.g. teaching basic skills to adults who do not want to be there or to offenders).

    5 – It will depend whether you have a PTTLS or PGCE PCET. It will also depend upon what you want to teach and whether you are prepared to relocate.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by evantej)
    1 – Given your circumstances, and the fact you want to teach mathematics, I think you might be able to get away without gaining further experience.

    2 – Further education is diverse. All the factors you mention will depend where you teach. For example, I worked for a further-education college in a prison. The work environment and students are far worse than a normal further education environment, but the work-life balance is much better. There is not the same pressure to get students to achieve, and once you leave work you really leave it.

    3 –In theory, you could do a PTTLS and then apply for teaching jobs. But realistically you are going to need a lot of support, especially if you work full time. Not everyone will be willing or able to provide the support you need. I think it is probably better for you to do a PGCE PCET so you get experience actually teaching further education classes. In addition, you will have the opportunity to gain a specialist diploma in numeracy.

    4 – It depends what you consider demanding. There are fewer contact hours and less variety in the sense there are probably more approaches and challenges to teaching different key stages in a secondary school. But some teaching will be more difficult in further education: in terms of content (i.e. A level) and sometimes in terms of learner (e.g. teaching basic skills to adults who do not want to be there or to offenders).

    5 – It will depend whether you have a PTTLS or PGCE PCET. It will also depend upon what you want to teach and whether you are prepared to relocate.
    Just looking at the jobs on TES at the moment, there are only 19 going at the moment for FE mathematics, (compare that to the 422 secondary maths). Is there a certain time of the year when there are a large amount of jobs advertised or is this the norm?

    Yes I think the PGCE PCET sounds best. It would guarantee a placement and teaching hours to get all the qualifications done together. I don't know how likely it is that people then get a job with the college they trained at. Just so few jobs advertised puts me off unless this really is wrong time of the year and many more are advertised in e.g. june/july?
    Offline

    18
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Plato99)
    Just looking at the jobs on TES at the moment, there are only 19 going at the moment for FE mathematics, (compare that to the 422 secondary maths). Is there a certain time of the year when there are a large amount of jobs advertised or is this the norm?

    Yes I think the PGCE PCET sounds best. It would guarantee a placement and teaching hours to get all the qualifications done together. I don't know how likely it is that people then get a job with the college they trained at. Just so few jobs advertised puts me off unless this really is wrong time of the year and many more are advertised in e.g. june/july?
    For starters, TES is primarily a secondary school website. Use something like fejobs.com as well. I would also manually check local council websites, large further education colleges, and Information, Advice and Guidance providers to get a better idea of the job situation (i.e. A4e are contracted to provide education in prisons in London and the east of England and numeracy is a major part of skills for life provision, if that sort of environment interests you). Likewise, there might be small education providers which aim specialised qualifications to get jobseekers back into work. You just have to be imaginative to see where mathematics teaching fits into peoples' lives.

    As far as jobs are concerned, there will always be fewer jobs in further education because it is non-compulsory. There will likely be increases in the near future as children have to stay in education or training until they are at least 18.

    As far as the logistics are concerned, it depends very much where you work. For example, prison education runs all year round so they recruit when they need staff. There is likely to be some movement at the moment as providers try and maximise capacity of what they can do given the new OLASS contracts started last August. Councils, on the other hand, tend to recruit from the tax year so you will see lots of sessional and full-time posts around March and April time in preparation for summer adult classes and the next academic year. Likewise, normal further education colleges probably tend to recruit at the end of the academic year when they know what existing staff are likely to do and what they are doing with their curriculum.

    As someone interested in teaching mathematics you are realistically never going to be out of a job so long as you are semi-flexible and actually competent. It really is just a case of finding that first job in your case. I think a PGCE PCET would probably be your best option as I imagine you did not get to teach a lot of A level students on your previous PGCE.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by evantej)
    For starters, TES is primarily a secondary school website. Use something like fejobs.com as well. I would also manually check local council websites, large further education colleges, and Information, Advice and Guidance providers to get a better idea of the job situation (i.e. A4e are contracted to provide education in prisons in London and the east of England and numeracy is a major part of skills for life provision, if that sort of environment interests you). Likewise, there might be small education providers which aim specialised qualifications to get jobseekers back into work. You just have to be imaginative to see where mathematics teaching fits into peoples' lives.

    As far as jobs are concerned, there will always be fewer jobs in further education because it is non-compulsory. There will likely be increases in the near future as children have to stay in education or training until they are at least 18.

    As far as the logistics are concerned, it depends very much where you work. For example, prison education runs all year round so they recruit when they need staff. There is likely to be some movement at the moment as providers try and maximise capacity of what they can do given the new OLASS contracts started last August. Councils, on the other hand, tend to recruit from the tax year so you will see lots of sessional and full-time posts around March and April time in preparation for summer adult classes and the next academic year. Likewise, normal further education colleges probably tend to recruit at the end of the academic year when they know what existing staff are likely to do and what they are doing with their curriculum.

    As someone interested in teaching mathematics you are realistically never going to be out of a job so long as you are semi-flexible and actually competent. It really is just a case of finding that first job in your case. I think a PGCE PCET would probably be your best option as I imagine you did not get to teach a lot of A level students on your previous PGCE.
    Thanks for replying. Yes I can't really imagine an FE college taking me on as it stands, even if I did the PTLLS beforehand, as I think they would go for somebody more qualified or with more experience. They would probably see it as a gamble taking me on, as I don't know that much about the FE system.

    I would like to get some experience in some sort of FE environment first, either observing or better still some kind of job as an assistant but I can't see any at the moment. Is there any site where these kinds of jobs are advertised or anywhere to look out for them?
    Offline

    18
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Plato99)
    Thanks for replying. Yes I can't really imagine an FE college taking me on as it stands, even if I did the PTLLS beforehand, as I think they would go for somebody more qualified or with more experience. They would probably see it as a gamble taking me on, as I don't know that much about the FE system.

    I would like to get some experience in some sort of FE environment first, either observing or better still some kind of job as an assistant but I can't see any at the moment. Is there any site where these kinds of jobs are advertised or anywhere to look out for them?
    If you have your heart set on working in a college then a PGCE PCET is definitely the best way to go. You might even get on a programme starting in September if you are lucky. Check GTTR vacancies and contact the universities directly before wasting money on an application though (ideally the teaching staff themselves rather than admissions).

    Further education gets less funding than primary and secondary so they tend not to employ teaching assistants unless they specialise in learning disabilities, which has separate dedicated funding. But these tend to be specialist posts with their own qualifications and relevant experience, and not actually directly relevant to teaching in the long run (i.e. you might help assess students' needs using a standardised assessment process or simply help those with diagnosed problems, for example being a scribe for someone with dyslexia). This means you are unlikely to find any paid work experience and will have to do things on a voluntary basis.

    A perfect example of the above is teaching juvenile offenders. Offender learning is usually an exclusively further education area, but when it comes to juveniles education providers get lots of extra funding for qualified and unqualified teaching assistants from the Department of Education's Education Funding Agency (the FE equivalent is called the Skills Funding Agency). You just have to use your imagination and think of potential places where there might be worthwhile paid experience to seek out.

    I hope this helps.
 
 
 
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • Poll
    Have you ever participated in a Secret Santa?
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

    Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

    Quick reply
    Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.