Transform into a teacher in 12 months

Wednesday 1 May 2013

A one year full-time intensive PGCE course is preparing teachers to lead classes in just 12 months at Bedford College.

Open to those with degrees or Level 3 industry learning equivalents, the trainee teachers are given vital work experience among the ranks of the college’s 700 staff who educate 16,000 students in 100s of subject areas.

“This sort of access to working as part of our award-winning team, not just doing a few hours a week on a placement in a school, is the critical difference.  It enables trainee teachers to experience work life in a large, successful educational environment,” explains advanced practitioner Mark Brookes,

“They study as trainees but gain that vital work experience as part of their chosen teaching department and can see from the inside what life is really like in a busy FE college.”

Bedford College is the only centre in the region to run this one year full-time Cert ed/PGCE. Like other colleges it also offers a two year part-time course in the same qualification but with this trainees have to find their own work placements – often proves difficult.

“This course is ideal for someone who has made the decision and wants to make that change from commuting, industry, or being at home, sooner rather than later,” added Mark.

The course can be funded by standard student loans, and for graduates who already have a loan it can simply be added on as a “progression”.

As an introduction applicants will have to take a short part-time course covering preparing to teach (PTLLS or now called Award in Level 3 Education and Training) unless they already have achieved this.

Of the six on the current pioneering year three have already been offered jobs (two at Bedford College, one elsewhere).

Industry experience not university degree valued

“The college is always looking for those who have worked in industry and have a Level 3 vocational qualification to bring that real-world experience to the college classroom as lecturers. They do not need to have gone to university in the 70s or 80s to be valuable lecturers for today’s young people,” added Mark.

After qualifying you will need to take the QTLS course. Although not required by some FE colleges, Bedford College staff automatically progress on to QTLS to ensure that lecturers at the Outstanding Ofsted college are as qualified as upper school teachers. This will also allow you to teach in secondary schools.

The course runs from September to July with breaks from lecturers during the educational holidays – but there will be homework.

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