Introducing

Teach Portsmouth presents…

A brand new webinar series for those interested in teaching.

Each webinar will focus on a different theme and feature guest speakers who will share their experiences so you can learn more about what it's like to teach in Portsmouth.

Did you miss our webinar: changing career to teaching?

January 2021

A big thank you to everyone who attended Teach Portsmouth presents changing career to teaching on Wednesday 27 January 2021. We hope you enjoyed hearing from teachers who spoke about their experience of switching professions. Another thank you goes to our host, Simon Barrable, principal at Portsmouth College and guest speakers, Sean Archibald and Tarryn Williams who shared their expertise.

Your top questions

During the webinar, attendees were given the opportunity to ask questions in a live Q&A. We've listed the questions with responses from our guests below.

What's the best way to get into teaching FE?

Simon Barrable said:

If you have the experience you feel would benefit young people in further education, speak to a college to understand your options. You could also work in a college in a support role and work your way up. If you work in a team like this, you could speak to your line manager about doing a teaching apprenticeship which is becoming a popular option. This 'on the job' training is often part-time in between your day to day work.

Sean Archibald said:

There isn't a one size fits all approach. There are many different routes you can take into further education. I chose the qualified teacher learning and skills route (QTLS) because I didn't want to go to university. For those wanting to teach post-16 education, this is a good route to consider.

How did Sean know what route to take? There seem to be so many options which can be confusing. Which provider did he go with and why?

Sean Archibald said:

The route I chose was to do my level 5 diploma in education and teaching and then move on to do a qualified teacher learning and skills route (QTLS). I chose Essential Teaching UK as they are based in the Portsmouth area. UTC Portsmouth, the college I work at, also recommended this route as I already work there.

Is there an age limit for transitioning into teaching? I have a 30 year career in IT so no longer in my 20s or 30s.

Simon Barrable said:

Not at all. At Portsmouth College, we've employed people of all ages. Relevant experience, in the field you want to teach, can be a real advantage.

Sean Archibald said:

There is not an age limit. When I started my course, there were people of all ages who had recently left the military or had left in the last few years of their service to become teachers. If you have gained experience in an industry, you may find this equips your students better as you can relate back to your time in a particular job or sector, which in turn, prepares them for the world of work.

Did Sean or Tarryn have to work part-time alongside their training or was any financial support provided? I'm conscious that adult learners don't get student loans.

Sean Archibald said:

My experience might be different from other people as I was already receiving a salary for my role at UTC Portsmouth as a workshop technician. My understanding is adult learners do not qualify for student loans however there will be other bursaries and financial help available depending on the route you take. When I started my training, I was put onto an unqualified teacher contract but was paid throughout my training.

Tarryn Williams said:

I believe that you can still get a student maintenance loan, depending on the type of training course that you take. I did not need to work alongside my training as I received a generous government bursary.

I have been made redundant after 30 years working in a bank. I have always had a desire to teach. I don’t have a degree or a science GCSE. What is my best route to take? Is there any financial support available?

Sean Archibald said:

Every individual is different. When I first thought about teaching, the route Essential Teaching UK provides does not require a degree or specific GCSE. As long as you have a level 3 qualification in the subject you wish to teach and a minimum level 2 in English and maths - that should would work. However, there are different routes into the profession - so the entry requirements for others will vary. I would recommend phoning or emailing a school or training provider who will be able to give you details. Specific subjects can also take advantage of government grants to help teachers train.

Tarryn Williams said:

While I'm unsure about what degree requirements you need as this will vary between providers, I know that the government has a good bursary scheme for many subjects. This supported me during my training year. I know people that have taken other routes such as salaried training, where you are employed by the school and get paid to complete your training. From what I understand it usually comes with more responsibilities than non-salaried routes, such as teaching much earlier on and carrying out other duties around the school.

If you want to teach a specific subject, do you need to hold a qualification in that subject?

Simon Barrable said:

Having a qualification in a specific subject does help, but if you have a qualification which broadly fits the area you want to teach then that can work too. However, when we recruit someone, we are looking for the right type of person. Do you relate well to young people? Are you a team player? Knowledge can be learnt whereas other qualities tend to be more inherent.

I have experience in accountancy and wondered if I could be invited in to be a guest lecturer?

Simon Barrable said:

Most definitely. When teaching further education, people who have the right experience and qualities make fantastic teachers. My advice would be to contact local colleges to see if there is any availability.

Are there specific age groups/subjects that are more in demand? My degree is maths which I would love to teach?

Simon Barrable said:

The picture will vary across the country. However, maths and science are very much in demand. There are plenty of schools in Portsmouth who are recruiting qualified maths teachers. Secondary is often the age group where it is hardest to recruit STEM teachers.

What did Tarryn's training look like? It would be good to understand how long it lasted and what it involved.

Tarryn Williams said:

My training started in school from the beginning of term, with one day per week out of school having theoretical training. I observed lessons at the beginning and the timetable gradually increased. In February I undertook a second placement for six weeks at another school. If it wasn't for coronavirus I would have then returned to my first school maintaining the one day training, four days observing and teaching schedule.

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