CrazyTeaParties
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#1
Report Thread starter 4 weeks ago
#1
Hi!
I'm looking at applying to do a PGCE in Secondary History. So far, I've narrowed down to 2 of my 3 choices being fairly set, but I'm really stuck on the final choice and I would like to get some insight from others.
1. Manchester
2. Bristol
In terms of my other options, I'm torn between Uni of Sussex and Uni of Oxford.

University of Oxford
  • Expensive to live there - I'm aware that in some colleges PGCE students live in, but I'm not entirely sure whether or not I would want to do that - I'd be 23 by the time the course started, and I wouldn't really fancy living with freshers at that point (lovely as they may be, I'm at a bit of a different life stage at this point!)
  • Really interesting course - I'm particularly interested by the collaborations with museums and working with London schools that they offer
  • Reputation - obviously, it's Oxford, and whilst I know that alone won't have much impact without me proving I am an effective worker, it still can't hurt to have on my side
  • LGBT+ community - I am a lesbian, and it is important to me personally that I am somewhere where I can establish some sort of base and become part of the community (hopefully!) - I know PGCE students are less involved with the University, so I'm looking more at the local LGBT+ scene in Oxford, particularly for women.
  • Competitive - at the end of the day, it's entirely possible they won't accept me anyway, therefore solving my problem for me(!), but it's a factor worth considering - I have a first from a high ranking RG uni in History, and I have been working full-time in a school since then.

University of Sussex
  • Brighton - great gay scene and what looks like a really fun place to live, which is somewhere that I would really like to live at some point. However, also very very pricey but I guess that's the case for Oxford too.
  • Reputation - obviously not as strong as Oxford, but I am struggling to gauge the reputation of Sussex PGCEs - if anyone could give me some insight that would be helpful
  • I'm not sure how good the course is compared to Oxford - on their website, they don't seem to be focused much on developing the learning outside the classroom, but I might be missing something?
  • Great LGBT community and many events going on - would be a really nice place to live, but it would be pricey.


Honestly, I just feel very divided at the moment as to what to do. Should I go somewhere that's somewhere I've always wanted to live, but potentially at the expense of the course, or should I go for the potentially better course, but somewhere I am less interested in living long-term? I'd likely be looking to move away from Oxford after the PGCE unless I develop proper roots in the area during my PGCE, which I'm not sure about at the moment.

Basically, any advice would be much appreciated! Thank you
Last edited by CrazyTeaParties; 4 weeks ago
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fredminxis75
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#2
Report 4 weeks ago
#2
Alot of people (I think most) go to the 'local' uni in the area they want to/will be teaching in, getting jobs in the schools or academy chains where they trained. On my course at a SCITT with the PGCE element delivered by Keele Uni, vast majority were locals many having gone for their undergrad degree away from home, coming back. We had graduate from Oxford. Many had jobs halfway through the course in the local area. Reputation of uni counts for very little if anything, courses have their own reps (Ofsted are involved in inspecting teacher training providers) and of course schools are interested in the lesson you deliver for that first job.
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ThursdaysChild22
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#3
Report 3 weeks ago
#3
Train in the area that you intend to work after qualification. It is much easier to get a job in the area you’ve trained in because the schools know each other and your placement colleagues will informally recommend you to their teacher friends when jobs become available. A reference from a school that the head teacher knows and recognises is almost always worth more than a reference from a school out of the area.
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SarcAndSpark
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#4
Report 3 weeks ago
#4
As others have said, pick somewhere you want to work long term. Uni reputation is not as important as the local networking links you'll make on the course which may help you secure your first job. And don't underestimate the power of a local reference, either.

Personally, I wouldn't recommend Bristol- feel free to PM for more info if you want.
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Morrigan007
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#5
Report 3 weeks ago
#5
Currently doing a PGCE in history, working 100 hours a week. I live in one of the places you mention, but it really doesn't matter, because there's no time to socialise. As for train where you want to work, history jobs are like gold dust, so yeah, and there's a surplus of PGCE graduates, maybe 50 chasing 5 jobs locally. In other words, you can build a great network, but if your fellow students do the same, it had limited advantages. Train where there's the most realistic opportunity of getting a job, on a course where they've managed to place all their students in placement
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