Annatromps
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Hi! I have received offers from UCL for both the school direct and university led routes and I am wondering if anyone can possibly give me advice on the advantages/disadvantages of either option. Is the timetable over the course of the year identical or do we spend less time at the university if we do the SD route? Anyone who has done the SD route or seen others who have done it: is it as inclusive and are you as involved in student life as the university led group or are you kept separate? Any information would be really appreciated! Thank you!
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sp00kymcflukey
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Generally speaking, university led is cosier and there is more time to think and study pedagogy. It is probably a little slower to get into teaching classes and you will get two placements of equal length where as school led placement 1 will be where you will start and finish, with a short placement 2 in between.

I chose university led because I already had 3 years experience of working in a school so wanted to get into the theory a bit more. If you're eager to get stuck into the act of teaching and being more a part of a school while you train, then school led is for you.
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Annatromps
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Hey- thanks for your reply. Is this specific to UCL? As for UCL I have been told they are identical (same number of days, timetable etc) by staff but as everyone else describes the difference between school direct and university led in the same way you have, I just want to understand it from a UCL student perspective.
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bwilliams
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(Original post by Annatromps)
Hey- thanks for your reply. Is this specific to UCL? As for UCL I have been told they are identical (same number of days, timetable etc) by staff but as everyone else describes the difference between school direct and university led in the same way you have, I just want to understand it from a UCL student perspective.
UCL will run ITE in a similar way as other institutions. It is explained briefly here: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/ioe/courses/teacher-training . It will be different depending on which SD route you choose, salaried or non-salaried. If you go for the salaried route you will spend the majority of time in your host school. Your applications will also go straight to your host school. You will spend approx. 15 days at the actual institute. If you take the non-salaried and pay fees, you will naturally spend more time at the institute and join in further with the PGCE taught sessions. However, you will still spend a large majority at your host school.

If you go via PGCE, taught and university led, your applications go through the university and you start your course there and complete it there. UCL will organise placements for you and naturally, it is non-salaried.

You are much less involved in 'student life' on SD because, as it clearly states, it is learning directly from the school. The taught approach bases more theory and gradual practice - it aims to meet theory and practice together, giving you more time to really think critically about teaching as a profession.
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Annatromps
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Hi, thanks for your reply. Did you do a PGCE at UCL? I have read all the online information. I have been told by the head of the PGCE course at UCL that the separation and differences are less than other courses which is why I am looking for someone who has gone through it. I am aware that at other institutions the differences are as you describe.
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Annatromps
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On the link in your reply it says both routes have exactly 43 days at the institute so it sounds like for UCL the balance and timetable is pretty identical which is what is confusing me
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bwilliams
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(Original post by Annatromps)
On the link in your reply it says both routes have exactly 43 days at the institute so it sounds like for UCL the balance and timetable is pretty identical which is what is confusing me
Three routes: PGCE, SD (salaried [primary only]), SD (non-salaried).

PGCE and SD (non-salaried) both have 43 contact days. The difference between these routes is with SD (non-salaried) your application goes straight to the school and your 'placement' is in that school. You will still have 43 contact days, the same as the PGCE course. The PGCE course is run through the university so your placement is organised by them.

SD (salaried) is different again. This time you only have 15 contact days. Your application is dealt with via school and nearly all your training is done directly through school as you are being salaried.

If you do SD (non-salary) you will have a more similar experience to the PGCE. If you do SD (salary) you will have a less similar experience.
Last edited by bwilliams; 6 months ago
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bwilliams
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Are you looking at Primary or Secondary?
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Annatromps
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(Original post by bwilliams)
Three routes: PGCE, SD (salaried [primary only]), SD (non-salaried).

PGCE and SD (non-salaried) both have 43 contact days. The difference between these routes is with SD (non-salaried) your application goes straight to the school and your 'placement' is in that school. You will still have 43 contact days, the same as the PGCE course. The PGCE course is run through the university so your placement is organised by them.

SD (salaried) is different again. This time you only have 15 contact days. Your application is dealt with via school and nearly all your training is done directly through school as you are being salaried.

If you do SD (non-salary) you will have a more similar experience to the PGCE. If you do SD (salary) you will have a less similar experience.
It’s non salaried so very similar I think. The only difference (I’ve been told) is who organises the school placement, but that everything else is the same. The school placement would be a shorter commute for me but I’m worried about the student inclusion aspects you mentioned
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bwilliams
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(Original post by Annatromps)
It’s non salaried so very similar I think. The only difference (I’ve been told) is who organises the school placement, but that everything else is the same. The school placement would be a shorter commute for me but I’m worried about the student inclusion aspects you mentioned
If you like the school that you have been accepted at on SD and it is a better commute, I would grab the SD route. If you take the PGCE (also to get this clear - they are both technically a PGCE because you'll qualify with a PGCE on the non-salary route). You could possibly be placed here there and everywhere by the placement team (especially if you can drive).
About inclusion, I would ring the university and ask if the SD students go into the same sessions as the PG students, I would probably think they don't but they may do. Plus, I wouldn't worry about inclusion too much as the majority of the time you will be in school. Good luck
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thenextchemist
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I applied to UCL via school direct.
At the interview, I asked them what the difference is.
There is no difference (For PGCE students, not sure about salaried route), you get the exact same training and opporunities. Uni-led students as well as school direct have the exact same timetable (I checked this with my friend who applied for uni-led with UCL.
The only difference is for school direct, I had the choice of choosing the school I wanted to be in whereas UCL pick the school for you.
I would say school-direct is the better option because it's the exact same thing and you get to choose the school you want to go to and don't have to spend a long time travelling to a school that UCL have chosen for you (you can travel up to 1.5 hours).
Last edited by thenextchemist; 6 months ago
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