What is Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) ? in general a one academic year full time post compulsory PGCE course studies & training at England or Wales universities in conjunction with two college placements.
Further, professional teacher training qualification at level 7 for the post 16 sector, full time or part time course also that qualifies you for teaching at a further education college, sixth form, adult education and training companies.
Post compulsory PGCE
This qualification can also help you get a teaching position at a school, although this is at the discretion of the head teacher. You will need QTLS now in 2020 to be employed permanently as a school teacher, otherwise you are employed as an unqualified teacher/instructor.
Qualified Teacher Life Long learning (QTLS) is a professional qualification that lectures and trainers can gain through further study and assessment.
On 1st April 2012 seen QTLS become equivalent to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) for schools by law. (Statutory instrument 2012 No. 431) Well, my own experience I was not equipped with the right skills and experience going from a college lecturer to teaching at a secondary school.
A college lecturer teaches 14 years old upwards their own specialist subject. As a school teacher you can find yourself teaching 11 to 18 year old pupils. Teaching 11 to 14 year old mathematics is totally different from a college setting:
- Main point is behaviour for learning is not taught as part of your PGCE training at colleges
- Many school pupils do not wish to be at school and give less effort
- Different curriculum and courses for younger learners
- You are assigned cover lessons each week that are not your subject area and expected to teach them effectively
I was sentenced to 6 years as a secondary school teacher, although it was before QTLS.
At this time I still have no idea how a lecturer in business & management can go from a college class of adult learners to teach 14 year old’s business and be effective at covering classes of 30, 11 to 12 years old’s.
On a PGCE post compulsory you are not assessed or taught anything for learners under 14 years old, so how can a college lecturer with QTLS be qualified to teach in state school in England & Wales? The answer is a possible they are not.
Taking a post at many schools teaching 11-18 year old you will not be employed as a “Teacher” unless you gain QTS or QTLS now in England and sign up with the General Teaching Council in England.
Also have you noticed when looking at the requirements as a lecturer at some colleges or sixth form colleges you must have QTS.
Post compulsory PGCE and QTLS will allow you to gain a post at college, training centre or prisons, although not all school head teachers will see this as sufficient training, skills and qualification for school age pupils.
PGCE post 16 course subjects
As stated a PGCE post compulsory qualification is a teaching qualification for trainers and college lecturers that can be used also in commercial business, and delivering courses in a prison setting.
Lectures and trainers teach their specialist subject area at entry qualification level and up to postgraduate level including degree study and professional courses at some colleges in UK.
A whole range of courses can be taught:
Some post compulsory qualification subjects
Art and design
Basic and functional skills
Business and administration
Creative arts & music
Health and care
Humanities and social sciences
Science and technology
Sport, leisure and tourism
Mathematics, English, computer studies
There are other subject areas that you can specialise in for your PGCE depending on the UK University or college chosen.
PGCE course study
Initial teacher training at PGCE level is conducted at university, two placements at colleges or other place that requires successful teaching and assessment to pass the course.
Training focuses on assessment, teaching & learning, curriculum & planning, teaching methods and other teaching related issues.
The first part of the post-compulsory PGCE is at university with learning and initial assessment and you are then assigned to a college with a teaching mentor on your first placement.
Four days (3 for some courses) a week (Full time) are spent on placement teaching & planning, paperwork and portfolio of evidence building.
Attendance at the university for one day a week allows for additional learning and discussion as part of a PGCE teacher training programme.
Also, you learn about teaching good practice and combining your practical teaching experience with established education theories in the post compulsory sector.
Written assignments are additionally examined and require to be passed before being given the awarded.
You will be given the topics well in advance so you can actually complete one or two assignments to get them out of the way and concentrate on practical teaching.
Two year part time and distance learning post compulsory PGCE entry requirements:
Additional requirements need to be met by you on a part time PGCE & distance learning for college teaching. A job teaching or training is a must, also be conducting a certain amount of training or teaching over the 2 years.
Typically at least 50 hours contact time in each of the two years is a minimum.
A degree is not necessary for admission to the course but you are required to have a level 3 qualification which may be a vocational qualification in your subject. The course requires attendance of one day per week for two academic years.
What you will learn on post-compulsory sector PGCE
- Ability to plan and prepare lessons for teaching and learning
- Communication skills, lesson delivery and group work
- Develop a range of teaching & learning materials and aids
- Underpin theories and principles of learning and teaching
- How to plan lessons and prepare individual lessons for groups or whole class
- Development of your transferable skills such as presentation, time management, planning, organisation
- Curriculum ideologies and development process
- Use and develop teaching & leaning strategies for effective lesson outcomes
- Assessment for learning of students and further progress
- Support students in the learning process
- Become a reflective learner and learn from mistakes and practice
Teacher training placements
University PGDE post compulsory courses are generally 2 college placements or one placement for part time and distance learning where you have a teaching role already.
Placement attendance is 3 or 4 days a week (full time) depending on the university with 1 or 2 days a week spent at university extending learning.
Starting a college placement will see you watching and observing your mentor in classes then gradually team teach and then you are assigned your own class time table.
You are fully expected to develop schemes of work, lesson plans, course worksheets, marking and other. After 2 weeks I was teaching 22 hours a week on my first placement.
PGCE course providers and applying
Some universities have applications through another administrator, so always check on the university under “How to apply” section.
Applications are in general accepted from October with all university courses applying a cut of date. Remember popular courses fill up quickly.
Distance learning courses start in August/September or January each year.
Part time PGDE for post compulsory and life long learning is made direct to the university or the training provider.
Courses will ask you to complete an application form, personal statement, and a separate questionnaire concerning fitness to teach health questions.
Some universities and college PGCE further education providers
Shrewsbury College Group with award by Staffordshire University
Bedford College in conjunction with University of Bedfordshire
Many universities & colleges in Wales & England offer PGCE post 16 courses. Search on the UCAS website for a course available or search for post compulsory PGCE courses online. This is where you also apply for the course of your choice.
Post compulsory PGCE entry requirements
Universities expect at least a 2.2 UK degree in the subject or closely related. Overseas qualification equivalent UK standards also accepted for full time study.
You also require GCSE in English & mathematics at grade C and above or similar qualification.
In service PGCE post 16 training course you will need to be teaching a certain amount of hours per week and have a job teaching or training.
Some universities accept students without a degree where you hold a relevant level 3 qualification in the subject and teaching experience. You would attend course study at a university one day a week for two years and conduct independent study.
A police check in the form of an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) is a must before you start the course, and it must be clear with no warnings or convictions.
Interview PGDE further education course
All students must attend an interview at the university or PGDE course provider. Interviews will last at least 3 hours at a university or most of a day if at a company.
What happens on the interview day and expectations?
Academically, nothing will be difficult, they will be looking at you as a person and could you successfully pass the course.
Each course provider will have their own interview format, although typically you should expect 3-5 of the following:
- Numeracy & or literacy exercise task
- Mini teach or presentation to a small group of people around 4 to 5 minutes that is pre developed of your choice before interview
- Text where you correct the errors
- One to one interview with questions (See here for general teaching interview questions and answers)
- Group work or discussion
- Correct or summarise an article. (They will look at how you tackle the task & writing skills, use of words, sentencing and hand writing)
- Company training PGDE you may be asked to help out in classroom with learners in a lesson
You are observed all the time at interview where they are looking at soft skills, subject knowledge, personal attributes, mannerisms, interaction with others and how effectively you communicate.
The interview is a two way process where you find out if the course is what you are looking for and have the chance to asks questions.
Further education PGDE tuition fees
Should you require paying your own course fees then think carefully if the course is best suited for you and your future:
2020/1 Home/EU full time £9,250 full time
Home/EU part time £3,785 part time each year
PGCE post compulsory bursary funding
Financial support bursaries are available for courses in excess of £4,000 up to £30,000 per year depending on the subject, your degree classification, location and other factors. Basically, do not expect a bursary above 15,000, although you never know.
Only certain subjects attract Department of Education (England) bursaries for a student studying for PGCE post compulsory qualification:
Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND)
Bursaries for PGCE lifelong learning are for STEM subject areas and you must meet certain eligible conditions for funding. See https://getintoteaching.education.gov.uk/explore-my-options/further-education-teacher-training
Post compulsory life long learning work sector
After completing and gaining your post compulsory qualification you can teach and work at:
- Further education and tertiary colleges
- Training departments of companies or public sector organisations
- Sixth forms and colleges, although now many ask for QTS. Why!
- Adult education centres
- Universities (Not many, as you require a PG Dip Higher Education)
- Work-based learning organisations
- Community education centres
- Prisons & youth offender centres
- Secondary schools & sixth form colleges in England & Wales after gaining QTLS as a qualified teacher
Students on a post 16 PGCE course have a range of opportunities while on the course and after the initial training.
Employers and colleges are looking for good teachers with a post 16 teaching qualification with commitment and motivation for teaching.
Some courses in PGCE further education & training enable you to graduate with QTLS as part of your study, although other courses you require to apply and complete the QTLS in separate training.
After completing your PGCE sign up for full membership with QTLS or work towards the qualification. The Society for Education and Training (SET) is the organisation that administers registration and assessments for lecturers in England & Wales for Colleges, sixth form and other similar learning providers.
College lecturer or teacher abroad
Should you look for a teaching position outside of England & Wales you may have difficulty in people accepting QTLS as equivalent as QTS. Why, governments and education departments have statute laws and guidelines in other countries where only QTS is acceptable for teachers from England & Wales.
Countries such as Taiwan, United Arab Emirates, Spain, Australia and others only accept teachers with QTS to teach school pupils from 5 to 18 years old at present.