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    Hi there,

    I’m looking for advice for those who have experienced Teach First or a PGCE course. I’m in my second year at university studying English language and literature. I want to work in education, however I’m not sure what route!

    I was successful at the teach first application and invited to the assessment centre in 10 days time. Im very anxious about it as I have no school experience and do not graduate for another year, however was told by their recruitment that no experience is fine and my application will be for 2019. Is Teach First a good route for teaching? Does anyone know the success rate of being given a school in your preferred location? I still live at home so financially, relocating is a no no.

    There is a pgce course at my university, however I don’t know anyone who has done this route either so I have no idea what to do! Do you get the chance to teach a class or are you more like a teaching assistant for a year?

    Any tips or advice I’d really appreciate! Open to hear people’s exprriences
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    (Original post by J35501)
    Hi there,

    I’m looking for advice for those who have experienced Teach First or a PGCE course. I’m in my second year at university studying English language and literature. I want to work in education, however I’m not sure what route!

    I was successful at the teach first application and invited to the assessment centre in 10 days time. Im very anxious about it as I have no school experience and do not graduate for another year, however was told by their recruitment that no experience is fine and my application will be for 2019. Is Teach First a good route for teaching? Does anyone know the success rate of being given a school in your preferred location? I still live at home so financially, relocating is a no no.

    There is a pgce course at my university, however I don’t know anyone who has done this route either so I have no idea what to do! Do you get the chance to teach a class or are you more like a teaching assistant for a year?

    Any tips or advice I’d really appreciate! Open to hear people’s exprriences
    With a PGCE, you spend at least 120 days on placement- at secondary this will be split between two schools, so you should get to experience two contrasting schools and this will be the majority of your course. You build up over time to teaching around 40% of the timetable, including all planning and marking for these classes. At the start, you'll be observing and teaching sections of classes, but you quickly build up to taking full responsibility for some classes. Personally, I like the structured route this takes, rather than being thrown in at the deep end with teach first.

    The main things the PGCE gives you that other routes don't are that it's more internationally recognised, and you get masters level credits that you can top up to a full M.Ed if you use them within the next five years.

    Obviously the advantage of teach first is that you are salaried straight away, and know where you will be based for two years. I guess it also suits people who want to jump in at the deep end and already have lots of confidence in their ability to teach. The teach first website does say they prioritise the needs of schools over the needs of applicants generally, though.

    However, at the moment you could get a tax free £15,000 bursary for English to do a PGCE, so you might not be financially worse off. I would think this might rise next year as well.
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    (Original post by SarcAndSpark)
    With a PGCE, you spend at least 120 days on placement- at secondary this will be split between two schools, so you should get to experience two contrasting schools and this will be the majority of your course. You build up over time to teaching around 40% of the timetable, including all planning and marking for these classes. At the start, you'll be observing and teaching sections of classes, but you quickly build up to taking full responsibility for some classes. Personally, I like the structured route this takes, rather than being thrown in at the deep end with teach first.

    The main things the PGCE gives you that other routes don't are that it's more internationally recognised, and you get masters level credits that you can top up to a full M.Ed if you use them within the next five years.

    Obviously the advantage of teach first is that you are salaried straight away, and know where you will be based for two years. I guess it also suits people who want to jump in at the deep end and already have lots of confidence in their ability to teach. The teach first website does say they prioritise the needs of schools over the needs of applicants generally, though.

    However, at the moment you could get a tax free £15,000 bursary for English to do a PGCE, so you might not be financially worse off. I would think this might rise next year as well.


    I didn’t realise there was a bursary for English PGCE, that’s a bonus! Thank you for your feedback, that’s definitely helped me understand both routes. I think Teach First sounds brill but being thrown in the deep end scares me a little! Least with a PGCE you’re slowly brought into it through placement in the schools.
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    (Original post by J35501)
    I didn’t realise there was a bursary for English PGCE, that’s a bonus! Thank you for your feedback, that’s definitely helped me understand both routes. I think Teach First sounds brill but being thrown in the deep end scares me a little! Least with a PGCE you’re slowly brought into it through placement in the schools.
    I think if you're keen on teach first then it can be a good option. Personally, I went for the PGCE as I thought getting more varied experience in the first few years would be good for me. I also wanted the international recognition that the PGCE gives, over just getting QTS.

    English is considered a shortage subject now (and obviously it's a core subject) hence the bursary. It could definitely go up next year, too. In your first year at teach first you're paid as an unqualified teacher, so I think the take home pay would be about the same. However on a PGCE you do have tuition fees to pay, which means adding to your student debt.
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    Just so you're aware, TF gives you a PGDE - equivalent to a PGCE and internationally recognised, but with slightly more credits in case you want to top it up to a full Educational Leadership master's. I know quite a few TFers who are now teaching abroad. It's a great route and I'd do it again (still in my first year) but it's very much a deep end route. Obviously can't compare it as this is the only route I've done, but it is very hard, but I think worth it for my personal aims and preferences.
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    The risk with TF and some SD routes is that you will become a machine - using other people's resources and techniques far too often, just to meet the demands of the timetable. With PGCE, it is a slower introduction but the benefit is that you are given time to develop your OWN style and approach - which will be important if you are to actually enjoy teaching in the years that follow.

    Another thing - my friends who did TF, most of them left teaching to work in higher paying sectors or to travel. If you are a social person and want to have more of a connection to people also new to the profession, a PGCE must be considered.
 
 
 
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