vicky edwards
Badges: 2
Report Thread starter 2 years ago
I have been offered places at Manchester University for PGCE History and at a local high school for a school direct PGCE through MMU.
I am having difficulty deciding which to go for. I currently work around 50 hours a week as a teacher to adult learners.

Pro: Internationally recognised more than MMU (I think)
Theoretical support from academic experts
More time to do essays as I would only be teaching for around 10-12 hours a week for the first few months
Don't know where I am going to be placed
Don't know if I will have to travel for up to 90 minutes each way

School led:
Pro: I know and like the school and there is a very good chance of a job at the end of it
It is about 2 minutes walk from my house
There will be other on-site trainees so I will not lose the social side of not going to a university
I will be treated like a member of staff and have more chance to learn about being a teacher beyond just teaching in the classroom
Con: Even though I would still get a PGCE and masters credits, I am not sure if an MMU school direct will be as highly regarded as a Uni of degree. I hope to teach abroad in the future and international schools will pay more attention to this.
It will be working full time and studying ontop of that
Badges: 19
Report 2 years ago
I think you pretty much have identified the pros and cons. However, I would say there is little difference between the two. You have the same teaching hours and same essays. I did MMU last year and the paper work was pretty intense but I believe they have changed that. What I would say is that School Direct often offer additional extras over and above the standard university course. For example, I got a mental health qualification, voice coaching and a superb behaviour and SEND training seminars.

There is no guarantee of anything job wise despite what the blurb says but I would say where you train has more bearing that the university. MMU is still a reputable institute though so don't get all snooty about it. They also have the brand new Birley Building which must surely beat anything Manchester University has in terms of facilities - it being purpose built and all! :-)

I think the school you train at has more bearing on your prospects. I have only trained at Outstanding schools and now work in an outstanding school.

Good luck with your decision.

PS - being around the corner is a big deal. Some of my uni peers had to commute 90 minutes each way to their school!
Badges: 7
Report 2 years ago
The important thing is that you do end up with a PGCE qualification from both routes. I'm sure International schools wouldn't have much preference over one or the other. It's also such an advantage to know the school, the staff, and the kids going into your training year.

However, (found this on an old TSR thread), if you were ever to move abroad and join that country's state education system, a PGCE is preferred over School Direct training. Take British Columbia in Canada:

Teacher training varies greatly from country to country, and we do not recognize all programs for certification in BC. Some examples of programs that do not result in BC certification are:
  • the Graduate Teacher Programme (GTP)
  • School Direct
  • the School Centred Initial Teacher Training Programme (SCITT)
  • the Teach First programme
  • very short programs
  • on-the-job or employment-based programs
  • programs completed entirely by distance education or on-line
  • programs that do not qualify for teaching in the kindergarten to grade 12 public school system

This is an extremely specific example and if you'd be looking at international schools, wouldn't even matter. It is important to bear in mind though how the university PGCE can be valued over School Direct (but ONLY if you very specifically want to move abroad in very specific circumstances!). I agree with the above in that training in an Outstanding school is a fantastic kickstart to a teaching career.

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