kilynn
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Hey guys!

So I'm an international applicant for PGCE RE programmes and I've submitted my application a little before Xmas...I've been reading around and while I know that you need school experience, I didn't know that it specifically meant UK school experience? Does that nullify the classroom experience I have from abroad? I read on some forums that people have taught abroad for years but didn't even get an interview for PGCE programmes because those experiences weren't in the UK...and I did TA for a secondary school English class over the last two summers in the US (which I thought was enough). I've been contacting UK schools (via email) since October to observe teaching in January but to no avail, too. I did take GCSEs in secondary school though...and I've been reading up on the different exam boards and past papers to familiarise myself with them. I never really went to school in the UK though (save studying abroad in London for a semester during undergrad). I'm worried that I can't convey this to the school's I've applied to, and I really want to get into a programme and teach in the UK. Anybody been/going through something similar? I'm really really scared.

But more importantly: in terms of contacting schools, is it better to just call them? I'm not in the UK at the moment but I do have a UK number so, I mean, I could just take advantage of that once I go to the UK in January...
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username1230881
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(Original post by kilynn)
Hey guys!

So I'm an international applicant for PGCE RE programmes and I've submitted my application a little before Xmas...I've been reading around and while I know that you need school experience, I didn't know that it specifically meant UK school experience? Does that nullify the classroom experience I have from abroad? I read on some forums that people have taught abroad for years but didn't even get an interview for PGCE programmes because those experiences weren't in the UK...and I did TA for a secondary school English class over the last two summers in the US (which I thought was enough). I've been contacting UK schools (via email) since October to observe teaching in January but to no avail, too. I did take GCSEs in secondary school though...and I've been reading up on the different exam boards and past papers to familiarise myself with them. I never really went to school in the UK though (save studying abroad in London for a semester during undergrad). I'm worried that I can't convey this to the school's I've applied to, and I really want to get into a programme and teach in the UK. Anybody been/going through something similar? I'm really really scared.

But more importantly: in terms of contacting schools, is it better to just call them? I'm not in the UK at the moment but I do have a UK number so, I mean, I could just take advantage of that once I go to the UK in January...
It's worth contacting the institutions you've applied to asking if they require time spent in a UK school - but they probably will want, even if it's a post-offer condition, at least a day in a UK state school.

Definitely phone schools if you've got that ability. In my experience some schools are really unresponsive via email and I've only managed to secure some of my experience after calling, because my initial emails were disregarded. Be aware that it's still the Christmas holidays for schools though. Some schools will start again next week, on the 2nd or 3rd, but others will only start the week after that, on the 8th. Check the term dates of schools you want to phone before calling.
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ByEeek
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If you go on the GetIntoTeaching website, once you register you can apply for school experience days at certain schools for free.
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yoshimax
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Did it work out for you? I'm also a US student applying for PGCE programs, so I haven't had any experience in UK schools.
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Mark_Lee
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Hi there, I'm an international student too and have got an offer for PGCE secondary mathematics. Yes, most universities do require applicants to have at least a few days' experience in a maintained UK secondary school, which is not mandatory, but very important for your chance of getting accepted because PGCE providers want to make sure that you know what it's like to teach in a UK school before starting the programme. That being said, some universities allow candidates to gain some school experience as part of the conditional offer after the interview so that you can arrange your school observation any time before the programme gets started, which is also my case.

It's difficult to get in touch with schools and apply for observation on your own, so it'd be a lot easier if the university you aim to apply for helps you contact their partner schools. So my advice would be just talk to the uni you want to apply and tell them your concerns to see if they can figure things out for you.
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anitapaul15
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Hi there .. not sure if this is too late, but I have been away travelling and teaching (away from the UK for the past 2.5 years) and I applied to do a PGCE in Secondary Maths at Manchester Uni and MMU. I have experience with TEFL and international schools, but not teaching maths and not in the UK and neither of the interviewers seemed to be bothered by that. So, in my case, the fact that I have never taught in the UK did not affect their decision. In fact they both gave me an offer within a day of the interview, a few hours after I had submitted the mock lesson and assessment paperwork! Now I just have the tough choice of deciding which to take .... Good luck
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