TomHazel
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I’m looking at doing a PGCE next year in primary education but I’m stuck on a few things.

How late can you leave it before applying? I saw this year that uni’s we’re still advertising in August so is there a rush to do it soon? I have no experience yet in a school so am I better off getting that before applying or applying and saying that I am planning on getting some before the course would start?

Also how important is it where you go for the course? I would have thought surely the course needs to be fairly standard across uni’s so would it matter going to a ‘top’ uni or not? I’m currently at a top 10 uni for my undergrad, will this support my application? And finally how competitive are they to get onto and will being a man help given the lack of male primary teachers?

Sorry for all the questions and thanks for any help!
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bwilliams
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Hi

I would apply as soon as possible and get your experience in too. If it is impossible to get your experience before applying, you will need to state that you have this organised to be completed before the course starts. You will need to be interviewed for the place and there is other admin to be completed so do not leave this until the last minute, ideally you should apply before Christmas.

It does matter where you apply; however, not in the same way as academic degrees. Universities that offer teacher training are judged through Ofsted so go to their reports sections and read through their findings as an ITE provider. Another important thing to note is you will be completing teaching placements in the local area to your university. Therefore, you will be making links with these schools. Sometimes it can be advantageous to make these links in an area where you wish you gain employment for your first year of teaching. This is by no means essential and many people train in a different area - just something to think about.

http://reports.ofsted.gov.uk
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SarcAndSpark
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(Original post by TomHazel)
I’m looking at doing a PGCE next year in primary education but I’m stuck on a few things.

How late can you leave it before applying? I saw this year that uni’s we’re still advertising in August so is there a rush to do it soon? I have no experience yet in a school so am I better off getting that before applying or applying and saying that I am planning on getting some before the course would start?

Also how important is it where you go for the course? I would have thought surely the course needs to be fairly standard across uni’s so would it matter going to a ‘top’ uni or not? I’m currently at a top 10 uni for my undergrad, will this support my application? And finally how competitive are they to get onto and will being a man help given the lack of male primary teachers?

Sorry for all the questions and thanks for any help!
Unis may fill up before August. If you are looking at any small SCITT or Schools Direct options, they will fill up more quickly. You'll also need to get a DBS before you can start the course- this can be tight if you only get offered a place in August. I'd suggest applying by spring next year at the latest. If you have no experience with the age group you want to work with, I'd recommend getting some experience first- it doesn't have to be formal work experience. You could spend an hour or two a week at a local primary school listening to readers etc.

I'd strongly recommend applying for a course in the area where you want to work- it can really help with getting jobs and makes going to job interviews much easier. Having a good support system nearby also helps!

Most ITT courses don't really care where you went to uni. They're more interested in whether you have the potential to be a good teacher (which will mostly be judged at interview). Good academics overall certainly don't hurt though! Primary courses are more competitive than secondary, although you can apply for courses with specialisms, and some are more competitive than others. However, in most areas, even primary isn't that over subscribed, so you are likely to get a place somewhere.

Unis obviously aren't allowed to discriminate by sex. Besides which, they would rather use the space for someone they think will do well on the course, instead of choosing someone just because of ethnicity or gender. You will get people's backs up if you assume you should be given an easy ride because you're male!
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TomHazel
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Thanks for your replies, I want to try and get on with it all soon and your tips are really handy! Sorry if it came across like I was suggesting as a man I should get an easy time, I didn’t mean to say it like this, was more asking generally if schools are seeking more male teachers as the disproportionate numbers of male primary teachers is often reported.

One other question, if I’m looking to get my experience in how would you say is best to try and find some? Are schools reluctant to offer experience because of DBS checks and stuff? Thanks again!
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bwilliams
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(Original post by TomHazel)
Thanks for your replies, I want to try and get on with it all soon and your tips are really handy! Sorry if it came across like I was suggesting as a man I should get an easy time, I didn’t mean to say it like this, was more asking generally if schools are seeking more male teachers as the disproportionate numbers of male primary teachers is often reported.

One other question, if I’m looking to get my experience in how would you say is best to try and find some? Are schools reluctant to offer experience because of DBS checks and stuff? Thanks again!
You’re not completely wrong, as universities offering teacher training for primary will have targets for male retention. This can be considered when Ofsted inspect and they must demonstrate that they are actively promoting males into the profession.

Email schools and explain your situation. They shouldn’t be reluctant to allow you experience, it helps to have a DBS, they are free for volunteers.
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Olives&chocolate
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I had my interview in May for my course (which is an outstanding provider) and there were still other providers with spaces so I don’t think you need to rush. I’d get some experience first so you can be sure it is what you want to do and have experiences to talk about in your interview. They also had places left a month after I got in as it is less competitive than it once was to apply for teaching. This means so you have more time to apply and more choices.

In terms of where to apply, look at what area works for you and read through course descriptions to see what sounds like the best fit for you. I really liked how my provider had a Twitter page which had retweets from students who seemed to still be enthusiastic and enjoying the course at that point in the course. It also had info and pictures about their training sessions.

Email schools, the office will forward the email on to the right person in school who deals with volunteering. If you have any skills or interests mention them. Schools need volunteers to help will reading and general TA. things too.
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