MrsDeWinter
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I'm struggling to make my decision. There are pros and cons to both. Should I book in to see my careers advisor and discuss my options with him?
Or...
I'm not sure what to do.
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Get into Teaching
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(Original post by MrsDeWinter)
I'm struggling to make my decision. There are pros and cons to both. Should I book in to see my careers advisor and discuss my options with him?
Or...
I'm not sure what to do.
Woop Woop! Two offers on that table, that's a fantastic achievement. Well done.

Now is the tricky part, of which to choose. What are the Pros/Cons that you've identified?

When selecting a provider, the following items are important - 1. How experienced/supportive will your mentor be? You need someone who you may learn from. (I know someone who's mentor said after 6 weeks, that their meetings would stop, as she's taught them all she knew.) 2. Where will your two school placements be? Will they offer you the experience you want to get into teaching for? 3. What are the academic PGCE assignments and when are their deadlines. It's really important that what you study matters and that you get to rest over the holidays, rather then needing to write essays!

Hope this helps!

Jane
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FormerTeacher
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(Original post by MrsDeWinter)
I'm struggling to make my decision. There are pros and cons to both. Should I book in to see my careers advisor and discuss my options with him?
Or...
I'm not sure what to do.
Congrats on two offers! What a great position to be in! I'd definitely suggest the same as Get into Teaching - find out more to seal your decision, especially about your mentor/s and location of school experience. Check out the timetable for the year, does one suit you better than the other? How many others will be with you for your subject (it can be helpful to share and compare!). Best of luck!
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MrsDeWinter
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Thank you both for your responses. I have indeed sent off a list of questions to one provider. The only cons for this provider are that I'm not certain the schools I would be placed in will be local, and that I cannot specialise there. But they are a well-respected university, and I felt incredibly proud of myself for having been accepted there. The staff were polite and respectable, the interview felt rigorous, the campus is nice and it is the cheaper of the two for public transport. I feel like this university environment would push me to achieve. They have also said they will maintain the skills tests, but incorporate them into the other learning modules (it is now at the discretion for the universities, we were advised - I like this. I want to know I have the capacity to teach these skills).

The other interview felt less rigorous, I woke up at 3am the morning after to remember that there were a couple of things which should have happened at the interview (to check whether I was suitable for the specialism) did not. A couple of things were said which I knew to be false (it was talking about a course at another university, but...I happen to be at that university and familiar with the staff on the course which was being criticised - the information being put forward was factually incorrect). There was also scaremongering, in discussing the risk of not being placed locally with some universities (but both this uni and the uni above said there would be a maximum travel time of 90mins each way. I'll have to check to see if we opt-in for travelling further afield, or what - because that does concern me). But here, I can specialise (although they haven't checked to see if I am competent to do so). But they are disregarding the skills tests, now that they are no longer compulsory.

Is it better to be at a respected university, and qualify without a specialism (it's for a Primary PGCE), or to be at a university I have several misgivings about, but at which I can specialise?

What looks better on an application afterwards - the place or the specialism?

Perhaps I need to find out what I need to do to stand out when it comes to applying for jobs at the end of the PGCE.
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Get into Teaching
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(Original post by MrsDeWinter)
Thank you both for your responses. I have indeed sent off a list of questions to one provider. The only cons for this provider are that I'm not certain the schools I would be placed in will be local, and that I cannot specialise there. But they are a well-respected university, and I felt incredibly proud of myself for having been accepted there. The staff were polite and respectable, the interview felt rigorous, the campus is nice and it is the cheaper of the two for public transport. I feel like this university environment would push me to achieve. They have also said they will maintain the skills tests, but incorporate them into the other learning modules (it is now at the discretion for the universities, we were advised - I like this. I want to know I have the capacity to teach these skills).

The other interview felt less rigorous, I woke up at 3am the morning after to remember that there were a couple of things which should have happened at the interview (to check whether I was suitable for the specialism) did not. A couple of things were said which I knew to be false (it was talking about a course at another university, but...I happen to be at that university and familiar with the staff on the course which was being criticised - the information being put forward was factually incorrect). There was also scaremongering, in discussing the risk of not being placed locally with some universities (but both this uni and the uni above said there would be a maximum travel time of 90mins each way. I'll have to check to see if we opt-in for travelling further afield, or what - because that does concern me). But here, I can specialise (although they haven't checked to see if I am competent to do so). But they are disregarding the skills tests, now that they are no longer compulsory.

Is it better to be at a respected university, and qualify without a specialism (it's for a Primary PGCE), or to be at a university I have several misgivings about, but at which I can specialise?

What looks better on an application afterwards - the place or the specialism?

Perhaps I need to find out what I need to do to stand out when it comes to applying for jobs at the end of the PGCE.
Thank you for this details. Makes it easier for me to see the wood from the trees.

Essentially, the head-teacher who will hired you as an NQT will want to know that you can teach well, and have a broad teaching experience, (as possible in a very short time that the Teacher Training offers) rather than the training provider which whom you are accredited by.

I have no crystal ball to see the future, but in terms of your specialism, while it will not guarantee your NQT job, it would be useful to stand you from the crowd, and potentially set you up for your career progression in the future, as you'd likely take on a curriculum based whole school lead. Having said that, sometimes people get co-opted into specialisms that they only have a mild interest in previously.

In regards to the skills test, on all teacher training courses, providers are at liability to ensure that you do possess a suitable level of literacy and numeracy.

Providers do want you to be successful on their courses and so often in regards to the placements they will take your personal circumstances into consideration, (ie what mode of transport you are using etc) when choosing where you'll spend the majority of your time. At least 2/3 of the course will be spend in your teaching practice schools and so, in some way, for 1/3 of the time you'd be better in a place where you feel most supported and have access to suitable academic support.

Let us know what the answers are to the questions you've asked!

Jane
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MrsDeWinter
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(Original post by Get into Teaching)
Thank you for this details. Makes it easier for me to see the wood from the trees.

Essentially, the head-teacher who will hired you as an NQT will want to know that you can teach well, and have a broad teaching experience, (as possible in a very short time that the Teacher Training offers) rather than the training provider which whom you are accredited by.

I have no crystal ball to see the future, but in terms of your specialism, while it will not guarantee your NQT job, it would be useful to stand you from the crowd, and potentially set you up for your career progression in the future, as you'd likely take on a curriculum based whole school lead. Having said that, sometimes people get co-opted into specialisms that they only have a mild interest in previously.

In regards to the skills test, on all teacher training courses, providers are at liability to ensure that you do possess a suitable level of literacy and numeracy.

Providers do want you to be successful on their courses and so often in regards to the placements they will take your personal circumstances into consideration, (ie what mode of transport you are using etc) when choosing where you'll spend the majority of your time. At least 2/3 of the course will be spend in your teaching practice schools and so, in some way, for 1/3 of the time you'd be better in a place where you feel most supported and have access to suitable academic support.

Let us know what the answers are to the questions you've asked!

Jane
I really do want the specialism, but... I just have misgivings about the academic integrity of the provider.
But yes, I will wait for the questions to be answered before I decide for certain.
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Get into Teaching
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(Original post by MrsDeWinter)
I really do want the specialism, but... I just have misgivings about the academic integrity of the provider.
But yes, I will wait for the questions to be answered before I decide for certain.
Hello!

You are quite likely to be able to acquire a specialism within your two teaching practice placements. The schools will have subjects leads and I'd recommend that you work closely with the one that you feel would be your strongest subject. You need to work with the provider you feel most comfortable with, and the one that's offering you the best opportunities and support. Often this really comes down to which you liked best!

Jane
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MrsDeWinter
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Hello!

You are quite likely to be able to acquire a specialism within your two teaching practice placements. The schools will have subjects leads and I'd recommend that you work closely with the one that you feel would be your strongest subject. You need to work with the provider you feel most comfortable with, and the one that's offering you the best opportunities and support. Often this really comes down to which you liked best!

Jane
I received an email back, saying that the people I had emailed (I'm not sure who got the email, but it was something like [email protected][uniname].ac.uk) weren't sure, so they transferred it to the course leader... Who still has not responded, (my final date for decision was yesterday) so I went with the second provider (the one I hadn't needed to email).

In that time, I spoke with my mentor who also advised (similar to your suggestion, earlier) that the specialism may be regarded with more consideration than the place of study. Also, a lecturer shared her students' experience of the first provider, and in addition to me not having all the information I wanted from them, it put me off confirming with them.

Thank you for your help!
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(Original post by MrsDeWinter)
I received an email back, saying that the people I had emailed (I'm not sure who got the email, but it was something like [email protected][uniname].ac.uk) weren't sure, so they transferred it to the course leader... Who still has not responded, (my final date for decision was yesterday) so I went with the second provider (the one I hadn't needed to email).

In that time, I spoke with my mentor who also advised (similar to your suggestion, earlier) that the specialism may be regarded with more consideration than the place of study. Also, a lecturer shared her students' experience of the first provider, and in addition to me not having all the information I wanted from them, it put me off confirming with them.

Thank you for your help!
Hello @MrsDeWinter

I'm so pleased you've been able to find a solution to this. I wish you all the very best for a stimulating, exciting and outstanding teaching career to come!

Well done and congratulations!

Jane
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