Friday, 21 June 2013

School Direct : Preparing for the unknown.

Recently I've come to realise how much misinformation is out there about School Direct and so I wanted to start this blog with a bit about that.  When telling people that I'll be doing School Direct at least one person, a teacher I might add, said to me 'oh yes, because they've got rid of the PGCE haven't they?',  I've also seen newspaper and internet articles that make all sorts of claims about the School Direct scheme that are either untrue or taken out of context.  For anyone reading this that doesn't know about School Direct I'll tell you a little bit more.  School Direct allows schools to pick their own trainees and train them along with a local provider.  Some of these programmes will just lead to Qualified Teacher Status but many of them will also lead to a PGCE, some with credits towards a Masters course.  Trainees on the School Direct scheme will be subject to the same standards as those training via a PGCE and therefore will have to spend time in more than one school and meet all the Teaching Standards before being recommended for QTS.  I think in general the confusion is occurring due to the variety of options available depending on the lead school providing the training, including the fact that some trainees will be salaried and others won't.  The School Direct isn't the only route though, PGCEs are continuing to be run as usual, this is just another route, much in the same way as the GTP was an alternative option.  Personally I much prefer the idea of School Direct as I'll be in school from day one, getting involved in school life but still gaining the PGCE qualification preferred by some schools and often required for teaching abroad.  I understand that taking part in School Direct this year is taking a big step into the unknown, for example my provider is yet to 100% finalise the structure of the course, but I find this exciting.

Taking this step into the unknown means that preparation is difficult.  I've got myself a stack of books and am reading my way through them.  I'm also trying to follow as many blogs and reading other articles on education as I'm realising how fast things are changing and the importance of keeping ahead of the times.  I've also started some observation and spent two days in an all boys grammar school this week which was really interesting as it was different to anything I've been in before.  I've got a week lined up in a Primary school which is compulsory before beginning my PGCE and I've arranged to spend a week in an MFL department back home.  Other than that preparations are generally all paperwork- I've had application forms to fill in from my school, a DBS check to pay for and a bit more reading!

Anyone else stepping into the School Direct unknown?  Join the TES Community forum here.   Get in touch with me on Twitter @BexNobes or via the group.  Really looking forward to talking to more trainees-to-be!

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