In addition to the PGCE qualification itself, those taking the course in England or Wales are granted either English or Welsh Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), which is required to teach in maintained schools in that Constituent Country. Those passing PGCEs in Northern Ireland are granted 'eligibility to teach' in Northern Ireland (equivalent to QTS). Though the QTS/eligibility to teach only applies in the Home Nation it was awarded in, applying for QTS/eligibility to teach in either of the other two Nations is a formality and is nearly always awarded to PGCE holders. Furthermore, the PGCE is also widely-recognised in Scotland and the rest of world, allowing holders to easily register as teachers there.
The PGCE was previously also offered in Scotland, but was renamed the Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) from 2005 to 2006 (the exact year depending on the university offering it). It is identical in content to the previous PGCE. Like the PGCE, the PGDE is widely recognised throughout the rest of the United Kingdom and the rest of the world.
Further and higher education lecturers are not usually required to hold QTS/eligibility to teach. However, many lecturers attend lecturer training courses to gain qualifications such as the Postgraduate Certificate in Education (FE), which is comparable to the regular PGCE.
The PGCE is a professional qualification normally taught at a university or other higher education institution, with much of the course time is spent on placements in local schools. A trainee teacher will have to meet the Standards for Qualified Teacher Status and any course specific requirements to be awarded the PGCE. In England only, a trainee teacher also has to pass the QTS Skills Tests in literacy, numeracy and ICT. The training provider will then recommend the trainee teacher for QTS to the relevant General Teaching Council:
or eligibility to teach to the:
After gaining QTS, the candidate becomes a Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT) and embarks on an induction programme in their first post.
A recent review of the equivalence of qualifications in Scotland declared the PGCE to be equivalent to a postgraduate diploma (which in turn is equivalent to the taught element of a master's degree). This left the PGCE with a rather inappropriate name as a postgraduate certificate is a lower level than the postgraduate diploma, requiring only half the amount of work. As a result, the PGCE in Scotland were renamed to Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE).
From 2005 to 2007, most universities attached credits towards a master's degree to their PGCEs. PGCEs that do not carry master's credits are now known as Professional Graduate Certificate in Education.
The PGCE sits on the Master's Level of the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications, while the Professional Certificate in Education sits a level lower on the at Honour's Level.
The PGCE is equivalent to a master's degree from the USA, according to Education International, Inc., , an American corporation specializing in evaluation of foreign education and training, established 1977.
Students on PGCE courses in England and Wales have to now pay tuition fees of £3070, of which a proportion can be paid by their local education authority (LEA). They receive a training bursary in installments over the course of the year. For most subjects the bursary amount is £6,000, but for shortage subjects in secondary schools, such as Mathematics, Science, English, Religious Education, Modern Foreign Languages, Design and Technology and Music, the bursary is £9,000. For Primary PGCEs the bursary is £4000. In addition, secondary school teachers of shortage subjects receive a Golden Hello after successfully completing their induction period. This can be up to £2500 for English, Religious Education, Modern Foreign Languages, Design and Technology and Music, and up to £5000 for Mathematics and Science. Students in Scotland and Northern Ireland still do not pay any fees, but do not receive a bursary. There are also other financial incentives for teachers once qualified.
Teachers in independent schools in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are not required to hold any particular qualifications, although most schools now prefer applicants to have a PGCE, especially younger people going into teaching as a first career. This flexibility does allow them to occasionally hire older people who have practical experience, such as appointing ex-engineers as mathematics or physics teachers, or appointing people with high-level postgraduate qualifications but no formal teacher-training.
The PGCE is not the only way to gain QTS in England and Wales. Students can also take a three-or-four-year Bachelor of Education degree (which, unlike the PGCE, does not require an undergraduate degree for entry). Undergraduate degree holders in England and Wales can also take part in the Graduate Teacher Programme (GTP), though, as it is not an academic qualification, is not well recognised in the rest of the UK or internationally.
The PGCE (QTLS: Qualified Teacher, Learning & Skills) is an alternative professional qualification for anybody teaching in further education colleges, sixth form centres, adult education, community learning, prison education and a wide range of other training and educational settings that are outside the schools sector. It is important to note that currently teachers with QTLS status are not entitled to teach in schools.
So You Want to Be a Secondary School Teacher; It Has Been Predicted That over the Next Few Years There Will Be a Shortage of Secondary School Teachers in Many Subject Areas, So What Do You Need to Become a Secondary School Teacher? LISA COLLISON from Central Careers Finds Out
May 03, 1999; TEACHERS in secondary schools are usually specialists in a particular curriculum subject. Many new entrants have taken a degree...
Must Teachers Go to School? Back to the Classroom Training Could Mean Less Academic Status for the Profession
Apr 22, 1999; THE ADVERTS tell us that nobody forgets a good teacher. But few people know what is involved in becoming a teacher, or the shifts...