A New Career as a Teacher? Excalibur Teaching School Alliance’s first Cohort of trainees are in the classroom!
The one year graduate School Direct scheme run by the Excalibur Teaching School Alliance (TSA) is off to a flying start. Based at St John’s, Marlborough (a National Teaching School) and Bath Spa University, the course offers a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) as well as the possibility of gaining 60 credits towards a Masters.
This year’s cohort comprises one primary school and six secondary trainees, who range in age from early twenties to early fifties. They have all had other jobs first. Investment banking, architecture, chef, hospital administrator, physiotherapy are just some of the careers previously followed.
Lauren Sankey, who is training to be an English teacher told marlborough.news, “I fell into being a chef and I liked the team atmosphere. But I had completed an English degree and this was my real passion. I started running a poetry group for adults and two ex-teachers who were part of the group encouraged me to apply.”
Several trainees had always wanted to teach but life events got in the way or as James Allen (a science teacher trainee) commented, “I simply wasn’t brave enough!”
The School Direct scheme involves time spent in school and time at the university. Trainees complete two teaching practices at two different schools, write three assignments and produce a Professional Portfolio.
Sarah Frame, Director of Excalibur TSA believes that the course offers excellent support. “Trainees are treated as a member of staff from day one. We run an induction in June so the trainees can get to know each other. Trainees have two support networks – in school and at the university.”
“We can tell trainees in June before they start the course where their teaching placements will be so they can make living/childcare arrangements. We also have a wide variety of schools where we can offer trainees enrichment placements.”
“We want our trainees to be in the best possible place to gain a teaching job at the end of the course.”
The trainees, who have now embarked on their first teaching practice, are pleased to have chosen the School Direct route into teaching. Emma Playfair told marlborough.news, “School Direct offers a much clearer path than a traditional PGCE. We are more supported and there are good links between the academic side and then seeing it in practice here.”
Excalibur TSA are now recruiting for their September 2018 cohort in Primary, plus Secondary Art, Computer science, DT, Drama, English, Geography, History, Maths, MFL, Music, PE, RE and Science. There is a fee of £9,250 but most people are eligible for a student finance loan. There are also a number of scholarships and bursaries available. Click here to find out more.