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Post Compulsory PGCE Further Education Qualification

Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) in general is a one academic year full time post compulsory PGCE course studies at England or Wales universities in conjunction with two college placements.

Teacher training for the post 16 sector is a challenging full time or part time course that qualifies you for teaching at a further education college, sixth form, adult education and training companies.


Post compulsory PGCE

Post 16 teacher training qualification
My PGCE certificate 2000-2001

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 2016 to be employed permanently as a qualified teacher. Qualified Teacher Life Long learning (QTLS) is a professional qualification that lectures and trainers can gain through further study and assessment.


QTLS qualification

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 15 year old upwards their own specialist subject.  As a school teacher you can find yourself teaching 11 to 18 year old.  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
  • 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 business and be effective at covering class of 30, 11 to 12 years old’s.

On a PGCE post compulsory you are not assessed or taught anything for learners under 15 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 in England and sign up with the General Teaching Council in Scotland or England. Also have you noticed when looking at the requirements as a lecture at some colleges at many sixth form colleges you must have QTS.

Post compulsory PGCE and QTLS with 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 students.


School teacher abroad

Should you look for a school teacher 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 in school pupils from 5 to 18 years old.


PGCE post 16 course

The PGCE post compulsory qualification is the highest award for a trainer for commercial business, which can also be used to deliver courses in a prison setting.


Some post compulsory qualification subjects

Art and Design
Basic Skills
Business and Administration
Creative Arts
Health and Care
Humanities and Social Sciences
Science and Technology
Sport, Leisure and Tourism



There are other subject areas that you can specialise in for your PGCE depending on the UK University chosen.


Teaching bursaries

Bursaries are available for all post-compulsory 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.


PGCE course study

Initial teacher training at PGCE level is conducted at university and two placements in a college or other place that requires successful teaching and assessment to pass the course.

The training focuses on assessment, teaching and learning, curriculum and 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, tutor on your first placement.

Four days or (3 for some courses) a week (Full time) are spent on placement teaching and planning, paperwork and portfolio building.

Attendance at the university for one day a week allows for additional learning and discussion as part of a PGCE teacher training programme as well as learning about theories and combining your practical teaching experience with establish 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 topic well in advance so you can actually complete one or two assignments to get them out of the way to concentrate for practical teaching.


Required learning

  • Ability to plan and prepare teaching and learning for lessons
  • Assess learning
  • Opportunity for further research in relation to teaching and learning
  • Communication skills, delivery and whole and small group work
  • Underpin theories and principles of learning and teaching
  • Development of transferable skills such as presentation, time management, research, planning, organisation
  • Curriculum ideologies and development


Post Compulsory Sector

After completing and gaining your post compulsory course you can teach 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
    • Work-based learning contexts
    • Community education centres


Students on a post 16 PGCE course have a range of opportunities while on the course and after the initial training. Employers, colleges and teaching abroad are looking for good teachers with a post 16 teaching qualifications with commitment and motivation for teaching.


After complete 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.


Course providers and applying

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.  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


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