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Best way to find a good-quality primary school for School Direct PGCE course? Watch

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    Hey everyone,

    I've decided to apply to do a PGCE. I'm tempted to go the School Direct route, but am unsure of the best way of applying to do it. Do one have to apply to only 1 specific course, or is one, somehow, able to apply for a course in a certain area? I'm looking at studying in Norwich.

    Also, in terms of the OFSTED rating (that's the only website I've looked on to gain an idea of the quality of schools available in Norwich), is the 'GOOD' rating ok, or should I only try to apply to schools with an 'OUTSTANDING' rating?

    Lastly, does anyone know how many schools can be applied to? Is it only 1, or could I apply to a number of them? Also, when is the deadline date for submitting applications. The websites I've looked at list that applications are accepted from 26/10, but don't list a deadline date!

    Any advice would be much-appreciated!
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    (Original post by Christiandransfiel)
    Hey everyone,

    I've decided to apply to do a PGCE. I'm tempted to go the School Direct route, but am unsure of the best way of applying to do it. Do one have to apply to only 1 specific course, or is one, somehow, able to apply for a course in a certain area? I'm looking at studying in Norwich.

    Also, in terms of the OFSTED rating (that's the only website I've looked on to gain an idea of the quality of schools available in Norwich), is the 'GOOD' rating ok, or should I only try to apply to schools with an 'OUTSTANDING' rating?

    Lastly, does anyone know how many schools can be applied to? Is it only 1, or could I apply to a number of them? Also, when is the deadline date for submitting applications. The websites I've looked at list that applications are accepted from 26/10, but don't list a deadline date!

    Any advice would be much-appreciated!
    I can help with one or two things! The deadline is deliberately vague - it's basically when the courses fill up. Teacher training courses all operate on a 'first come, first served' basis, so when they have enough applicants that they deemed good enough to accept, applications close. There's no equal consideration deadline like there is with undergraduate courses. The technical deadline I think will be September 2018, just before the courses start, but realistically very few courses will still have spaces then, so basically apply as soon as you're ready.

    As for the number of schools you can apply to, I'm not an expert on this so someone may correct me, but I know you can apply for up to three places/institutions etc. on UCAS. Whether those three are all universities, all schools direct, all SCITT or whatever, it doesn't matter, and you can mix them up. If you fail to get any offers, then you can use the system called 'Apply 2', and apply for more courses, one at a time.

    From what I've seen Schools Direct usually work as alliances, led by one school, and accredited by a university. You could be placed in any of the schools within that alliance/partnership, but they're all typically in one area. So it's worth looking what Schools Direct options there are in Norwich, but be aware that you won't necessarily be placed in the lead school. If you only want to apply to places in Norwich, but there are, say, only two Schools Direct options, then your third option could be a standard PGCE from UEA, for example.

    As for Osfted ratings, 'good' is still really good, and you may find it limiting if you apply only for 'outstanding' schools (and you may not get a choice in the matter anyway, as I noted). Working in a more challenging school doesn't mean your training would be worse - for example, Teach First deliberately places its students in challenging schools.
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    (Original post by doctorwhofan98)
    I can help with one or two things! The deadline is deliberately vague - it's basically when the courses fill up. Teacher training courses all operate on a 'first come, first served' basis, so when they have enough applicants that they deemed good enough to accept, applications close. There's no equal consideration deadline like there is with undergraduate courses. The technical deadline I think will be September 2018, just before the courses start, but realistically very few courses will still have spaces then, so basically apply as soon as you're ready.

    As for the number of schools you can apply to, I'm not an expert on this so someone may correct me, but I know you can apply for up to three places/institutions etc. on UCAS. Whether those three are all universities, all schools direct, all SCITT or whatever, it doesn't matter, and you can mix them up. If you fail to get any offers, then you can use the system called 'Apply 2', and apply for more courses, one at a time.

    From what I've seen Schools Direct usually work as alliances, led by one school, and accredited by a university. You could be placed in any of the schools within that alliance/partnership, but they're all typically in one area. So it's worth looking what Schools Direct options there are in Norwich, but be aware that you won't necessarily be placed in the lead school. If you only want to apply to places in Norwich, but there are, say, only two Schools Direct options, then your third option could be a standard PGCE from UEA, for example.

    As for Osfted ratings, 'good' is still really good, and you may find it limiting if you apply only for 'outstanding' schools (and you may not get a choice in the matter anyway, as I noted). Working in a more challenging school doesn't mean your training would be worse - for example, Teach First deliberately places its students in challenging schools.
    Great stuff. Thanks for the info! I've just found the information regarding applying to 3 institutions, but didn't know I could mix and match between School Direct and PGCE at Universities. For a teaching qualification, I can't believe how much I've had to dig in order to find answers to the most simple of queries!

    In terms of School Direct in general, it's good to know that the standard of teaching (of me) won't go down in quality. I was worried that the quality of mentorship/teaching would be down to who I'm assigned to!

    All heartening stuff!
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    (Original post by Christiandransfiel)
    Great stuff. Thanks for the info! I've just found the information regarding applying to 3 institutions, but didn't know I could mix and match between School Direct and PGCE at Universities. For a teaching qualification, I can't believe how much I've had to dig in order to find answers to the most simple of queries!

    In terms of School Direct in general, it's good to know that the standard of teaching (of me) won't go down in quality. I was worried that the quality of mentorship/teaching would be down to who I'm assigned to!

    All heartening stuff!
    Yeah, the entire process is generally quite confusing! I’m not applying until next year but it’s still taken ages to begin to find information about some things, and I’m still not confident on what some of the differences are between the many different routes!

    The quality of your mentor will basically be down to luck. I’ve heard of cases where people have had great mentors in challenging schools, and vice versa. If you ever do have problems then there will be ways to resolve it and someone who will be in overall charge of it. The ofsted rating of the school won’t link to it. A blog I read by a Cambridge Primary PGCE student had some rather disheartening words about the competence of that education faculty so that really shows that there’s no link.

    Good luck with your application!
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    (Original post by doctorwhofan98)
    Yeah, the entire process is generally quite confusing! I’m not applying until next year but it’s still taken ages to begin to find information about some things, and I’m still not confident on what some of the differences are between the many different routes!

    The quality of your mentor will basically be down to luck. I’ve heard of cases where people have had great mentors in challenging schools, and vice versa. If you ever do have problems then there will be ways to resolve it and someone who will be in overall charge of it. The ofsted rating of the school won’t link to it. A blog I read by a Cambridge Primary PGCE student had some rather disheartening words about the competence of that education faculty so that really shows that there’s no link.

    Good luck with your application!
    Yeah, it's the luck of the draw with everything. I trained as a Mental Health Nurse, and had fantastic mentors until the one during my final placement, who had the power to fail my 3-year degree, but thankfully didn't, who was a complete arse. Luck of the draw!
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    Make sure you try and visit all the places you wish to apply for. If you want to strive to be the best, personally I would only approach Outstanding schools. Good school are good, but Outstanding do have the edge, getting their mark through consistency across the whole school and in all areas of teaching and learning.

    When you visit, get them to give you the big sell. Why should you train with them? As someone said many work as alliances which means you might not be training at that school - make sure you know where you will be training. Also, a lot of alliances offer additional extras over and above the norm. For example my school give us voice coaching and a very useful Mental Health qualification. My PGCE colleagues didn't get any of this. Finally, by training at notable schools you also get a bit of kudos with your application when it comes to applying for jobs. I applied for two jobs and got two interviews straight away.

    Good luck!
 
 
 
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