Shouldn't high level education like a PGCE have a broader value? Watch

mark68
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My post graduate certificate in education specialising in post compulsory education and training (PGCE PCET) and English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) was a 1,200 hour master's level (M level) course which qualified me to teach in colleges of further education and sixth form colleges. with QTLS (qualified teacher learning and skills) it would have also qualified me to teach in state primary and secondary schools in the UK.

The course included 120 hours of assessed teaching 10,000 words in essays and about another 10,000 words in lesson plans and schemes of work and shorter writen pieces. As mentioned the course was master’s level and 1,200 hours long but only qualified me to teach level 2 in ESOL (Which funnily enough is pretty much all of ESOL) but new standards brought in several years ago expected the teacher to now be able to teach level 5 ESOL, there is an online course of 168 hours which says it qualifies you to teach level 5 ESOL to OfQual standards and for a bit more money you get 20 hours of instruction at a hotel, it cost about £500. My course would cost about £10,000 today and normally takes one year to complete full time, two years part time. I can honestly say that apart from when I first graduated in 2003 no one has been remotely interested in my qualification but I remain quite proud of it in a stubborn sort of way but I can’t insist that anyone recognises it although for a long time I would have liked to have, I’ve gone off the boil in recent years but I’m still quite angry about it, I whistled like a boiling kettle for years.

I passed my PGCE in 2003 and then taught at a college in London for two more years. When I left I was four levels up the lecturer scale. My question is this: I am going to show you my qualification and some interesting facts about it. Truth is it's past being useful but it is also still current and I am still quite proud of it and you know what I would have loved someone to have respected me for gaining it, even all these years later but no one ever really respected me for having it at all.

With an honest effort what do you think would have been fair?
Say I told you I had applied for about 800 jobs in ten years and only got offered one job and that was for 12 hours per week at about £200 per week, not enough to afford the rent on a bedsit and that was in a city of 8 million people.

Maybe God is calling me, or maybe he's punishing me, or maybe there are lessons I need to learn. this is the way the mind works when things aren't fair.

I want to explain something about this course, everything was just so. It was very exacting in every way.

An example of my complete lack of opportunity, I wrote to a few language centres in the UK for a job, I wasn't successful with any, I remember one wrote to me saying I'm sorry but you need at least a CELTA qualification to work here because we're accredited by the British Council, I wrote back saying that can't be right my course had 120 hours of teaching practice and took an entire year where as I think the CELTA has about 5 hours of teaching practice and takes a month. Her reply was your course may be better suited to a college of further education.

Another example as my PGCE was in post compulsory education and training, I applied for some training jobs without success. I remember one was in Canary Wharf London and they offered £35,000 a year and said they were looking for someone with a good standard of general education, GCSE or equivalent. A GCSE is a level 2 qualification my PGCE was level 7 but I never heard back from them. In fact, I can say that I found no opportunities at all in years and years but luckily had a good family who I relied upon, what made me so annoyed was my sector had about 120,000 people working in it and the training sector had probably the same number again but no opportunity showed itself at all in years.
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S27
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Hi @Mark69, honestly sorry to hear you haven't had thebest of luck. For context, I too have a PGCE post-compulsory but know nothing about ESOL!

What I will say is PGCE is a generally well known and respected qualification. It shows you have a wide number of transferrable skills. With the information you have provided, my gut instict is that the problems you had are with getting your skills across to employers, and not with any qulaifications you may have. The 1/800 job stat is particular alarming. How are you applying for jobs for example? How are you finding them? Are you using tools online to help with applying? Also, did you manage to get jobs in another industry?
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mark68
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Hi S27,

Nice of you to reply to my post. I can say that at my lowest I was applying for almost any job that was bearable but getting no replies at all, I even paid to have my resume and cover letter rewritten but that didn't help at all. I think one of the problems was that I was over qualified for many things and there were simply no openings at all in what I wanted to do which was FE teaching at the time. Many of the jobs I applied for were on reed.co.uk and a funny thing is I realised many years ago that I was getting nowhere so I looked through my email server for reply slips to the jobs I had applied for and put them in a folder, they're nearly all applications without reply and there are 750 emails in that folder stretching over a ten year period covering most of the so called years of austerity.

I really liked teaching when I was younger but have to be honest and say I don't have much interest in it now but what I would like is for people to realise the potential that an M level PGCE offers an employer because it simply isn't fair to be left at job club in the job centre as your only direction when you have an M level PGCE.
(Original post by S27)
Hi @Mark69, honestly sorry to hear you haven't had thebest of luck. For context, I too have a PGCE post-compulsory but know nothing about ESOL!

What I will say is PGCE is a generally well known and respected qualification. It shows you have a wide number of transferrable skills. With the information you have provided, my gut instict is that the problems you had are with getting your skills across to employers, and not with any qulaifications you may have. The 1/800 job stat is particular alarming. How are you applying for jobs for example? How are you finding them? Are you using tools online to help with applying? Also, did you manage to get jobs in another industry?
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mark68
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This is the last email I had from my line manager in 2006, I haven't found a good job since. I think I have been a bit like a pressure cooker ever since although it's lessened in recent years but for many years I had an acute sense of wanting so much more from life and doing much more with my time that made me feel very upset.

'Be encouraged Mark. I really believe you have much to offer to an employer. You have the quality of sincerity and integrity in particular. I just believe you need to hold you head high and as opportunities arise walk into them with confidence. If folk say no then it’s their loss.

Don’t know if you get any inspiration from your faith (I do) but came across this verse from the Bible the other day. From 1st letter to Corinthians Chapter 16 v 13. It’s very encouraging…” be on your guard, stand firm in the faith, be men of courage, be strong and do everything in love”' July 2006

Take care Mark
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