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    Hello

    I graduated in July 2012, with a 2.1 social sciences degree. I have two small children (2 and 6) and so decided to take this last year out to spend time with them, my youngest was born in the summer between my first and second years at uni.

    After much deliberation, as well as applying for a variety of graduate jobs and schemes, I have decided that I am definately not an office type, and therefore would like to go into teaching.

    My plan always was to become a primary school teacher after uni, however, I decided that I didn't want to do this when my son went to school. I think I would suit an adult environment, and so I have decided that I would like to go into further education teaching, teaching sociology. This wouldn't be starting til September 2014, when my youngest goes to school.

    However, I am struggling to understand exactly what I need to apply for, and what the different options are. There seems to be a lot more clarity for primary/secondary teacher training.

    Any advice would be gratefully received!
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    (Original post by pinkmilk)
    Hello

    I graduated in July 2012, with a 2.1 social sciences degree. I have two small children (2 and 6) and so decided to take this last year out to spend time with them, my youngest was born in the summer between my first and second years at uni.

    After much deliberation, as well as applying for a variety of graduate jobs and schemes, I have decided that I am definately not an office type, and therefore would like to go into teaching.

    My plan always was to become a primary school teacher after uni, however, I decided that I didn't want to do this when my son went to school. I think I would suit an adult environment, and so I have decided that I would like to go into further education teaching, teaching sociology. This wouldn't be starting til September 2014, when my youngest goes to school.

    However, I am struggling to understand exactly what I need to apply for, and what the different options are. There seems to be a lot more clarity for primary/secondary teacher training.

    Any advice would be gratefully received!
    Hello, I am a current second year undergrad Sociology student (going in to third year in October) who too aspires to be a Sociology teacher at 16+

    Having done a placement in an FE college, I can tell you that you don't need a PGCE/QTS/any teacher training to teach in post-compulsory education. I worked with three different teachers there, two Sociology teachers and one Psychology teacher, and two of them had no teacher training and did not hold QTS -- they are employed as unqualified teachers and only had undergraduate degrees in their chosen subject (Sociology or Psychology).

    You do not need Qualified Teacher Status to:
    • Work in post-compulsory education (like an FE college)
    • Work in an independent school (a non-state school that is)
    • Work in a state school that has converted to an academy (not sure if this one is true as of yet, but I know they were trying to make it happen -- I think it has, but I am not 100% sure)


    I thought it would be very unlikely to be employed at a college as an unqualified teacher, but both the unqualified teachers I spoke to at the college said it wasn't hard at all, they weren't even looking/hoping to be a teacher, they just had a friend who worked there and mentioned they were looking for a Sociology teacher and they applied like a normal job and they got it! Obviously they did have experience in education (like unpaid work experience) but both of them said they had no paid/formal experience in there. I was very shocked, as the college is pretty big and has a decent reputation, but apparently it happens. I was told that probably 70% of teachers at my old college were probably unqualified -- because you don't need to be qualified, colleges can get away with paying you less (unqualified teachers are on a lower pay scale than qualified teachers) and why would they pay more of their money when they can pay less? That's how it was explained to me

    However, whilst the teachers I met were lovely, and I am sure they were telling the truth 100% as to how things were for them, I am not overly comfortable with risk. I believe them when they say it was "that" easy to get the job as an unqualified teacher and what they said about 70% being unqualified but it's just not a risk I am willing to take. I intend to do a PGCE Secondary Social Science degree.

    You can look it up, but the PGCE Secondary Social Science basically trains you to teach your chosen subject (in our case, Sociology) at A-Level as well as you having the possibility to teach RE, Citizenship and PSHE at Key Stage 3 (years 7-9 at secondary school).

    Now, think about it for a minute. There aren't a billion FE colleges, and there will be even fewer FE colleges wanting a Sociology teacher within a 30-40 miles radius of you. And even fewer who may be willing to accept an unqualified teacher.

    So, realistically, if you're like me and don't like risk, you realise that the chances of getting an unqualified teaching job in Sociology at an FE college might be possibly be rather slim

    HOWEVER... a lot of FE colleges are actually sixth form colleges attached to a school. If you do a PGCE Secondary Social Science, you'll be able to apply for Sociology teaching jobs in an FE college, and because you've got a PGCE and now hold Qualified Teacher Status, you'll also be able to teach in a state school. Meaning you could teach Sociology in a sixth form college attached to a school, and also be able to teach RE/Citizenship/PSHE at Key Stage 3 in the attached school Which obviously makes you a lot more employable -- instead of only being able to apply for "straight" Sociology teachings jobs at FE colleges, you can now also apply for sixth forms where the job also specifies they want you to be able to do Citizenship/PSHE/RE at lower key stages....something as an unqualified Sociology teacher you wouldn't be eligible for (unless it was an independent school or academy -- see above bullet points).

    In short, you can take the risk and try and get a job as an unqualified Sociology teacher in an FE college, but this will require quite a bit of luck, IMO, and you'll have to adjust your job search radius quite wide. Furthermore you won't be able to teach in state schools should a job at a sixth form come up where they want you to teach A-Level Sociology and some KS3 subjects.

    I'm applying for the PGCE Secondary Social Science as I believe I'll be more employable, and, touch wood, get a job more easily. Furthermore, if they ever bring it in that you do need QTS for FE, I'll already have it. Being qualified also means higher pay and more job security -- both the unqualified teachers I met were on a lower pay scale and on temporary contracts where they were paid by the hour, as opposed to salaried.

    There are only three places offering the PGCE Secondary Social Science: Institute of Education, London; Manchester Met and Leicester.

    Good luck with whatever you decide to do! Sorry for the essay!
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    Wow thank you very much for all of that! My friends who are teachers are all primary, bar one who is maths which is a little bit different to sociology!

    I think your plan sounds spot on, I'm in Hull so not too far away from you. We only have three FE colleges, but several schools with 6th forms, so I'm going to look into getting some work experience at those next year (my youngest is nearly 3 and will get funding for nursery in September). It's a shame that there is only three places that do PGCE Secondary Social Science, I will have to look at what other universities in Yorkshire run.

    Thanks again, you really have helped me straighten things out in my head! And good luck with your results!
 
 
 
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