If you’re a graduate and you’ve decided you want to train to teach, you’ve likely been researching what routes are available to you. Chances are you’ve heard of the PGCE route and the School-Centred Initial Teacher Training route (SCITT). There are some obvious differences. But how do you know which teacher training route is best for you, SCITT or PGCE?
In this article, we cover differences between School-Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT) and PGCE to help you make the right decision for you.
School Centred Initial Teacher Training focuses on the idea of learning through experience. Course providers work alongside a network of local schools to deliver training. They offer placements for trainees to help them achieve qualified teacher status (QTS).
From day one, you’ll work with a partner school to deliver lessons in your chosen subject. You’ll be treated as a member of staff among the rest of the institution’s teaching professionals. If you’ve come across School Direct or Teach First in your search, you’ll notice the similarities with SCITT.
During the SCITT course, you’ll also get the chance to work in a contrasting placement school. You’ll see first-hand the differences between the two schools. It’s a great opportunity to work on your adaptability to different teaching environments. The majority of your year will be spent working in a school environment.
With Leeds SCITT tuition, you gain real-life experience to develop your confidence as a teacher. You’ll have access to a network of experienced teachers who will act as mentors to you and your fellow trainees. These mentors will have likely completed a SCITT or PGCE course themselves in the past. They can share their knowledge and experiences to help you improve as a teacher and develop resilience ready for the NQT year.
School-based teacher training doesn’t leave you without the qualifications you’d get from a university course. All SCITT courses, including Leeds SCITT, offer qualified teacher status. You need QTS to teach in schools within England and Wales.
You don’t need a PGCE certification to teach but the Leeds SCITT courses include a PGCE from Leeds Trinity University as well.
A SCITT course is ideal for people who are practically-minded. They love to learn on the job rather than in the lecture theatre. The course is intended to help trainee teachers quickly acclimatise to the life of a teacher. Trainees will directly interact with pupils and colleagues and you as a professional member of staff.
At first, it may sound like you’re being thrown in at the deep end. In reality, there are resources, tutors and mentors to support you along your journey. Don’t forget there will be fellow trainees who can share their experiences with you.
The main difference between SCITT and a traditional PGCE is that PGCE courses devote more time to lectures and seminar-based learning. This prepares you academically for the NQT year to follow. The PGCE qualification is a long-established route into teaching, recognised across the country. It’s designed to slowly ease you into becoming a teacher. It is well-known among university students considering teaching and is often seen as the next logical step.
The qualification is a PGCE, or Postgraduate Certificate in Education. It is an internationally recognised qualification, usually worth 60 master’s credits. Not all PGCE courses will award QTS, so it’s best to check.
A PGCE course is ideal for graduates who wish to continue their learning in a familiar setting. As a PGCE student, you’ll see plenty of resemblances to university life. The course itself is still quite challenging. If you like to study theory fully before you start the practical, this is likely the route for you.
You may be able to get tuition fee funding regardless of whether you choose SCITT or PGCE. It depends on what subject you train to teach in. Some in-demand subjects can offer scholarships up to £28,000 in some years. Subjects such as maths even offer early-career payments on top! The DfE has further information on scholarships and bursaries available for this year.
Student loans are also available to graduates who enrol on a SCITT or PGCE course.
It’s important to consider your options and choose the initial teacher training route for you. Think about whether you want to learn and practise in a school environment. Whether you choose SCITT or a traditional PGCE course, you are joining a highly rewarding profession. Becoming a teacher can impact the lives of many children for the better.
See here for more information about the school-centred initial teacher training with Leeds SCITT.
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