Teacher Training Via University Led PGCE Route 

I definitely spent a while weighing up my options and comparing the different routes into teacher training. In the end it came down to several factors. 

  1. I did my degree through the Open University as a mature student and so I had never been to a traditional university or had that experience. This was my chance to experience a small snapshot of the ‘university experience’ in person and on campus.

  2. Again, as a mature student, something that one of my interviewers said at my interview struck a chord, that if you go the Schools Direct route, then you will be in a much smaller cohort for your subject but that if you train through a university there will be far more students training to teach and you are more likely to find other people in a similar situation regarding age and life stage in a bigger university group. This has proven to be true, it is great at university meeting a range of students some younger, some older but also really helpful to find other people who have the same challenges as I do, looking after a young child whilst training.  


I have really enjoyed the experience of PGCE (university led) so far, as I feel it gives me a really good balanced picture of teaching. My time in school is great for applying the theory I have learnt at university and for getting hands on classroom experience. It is then balanced very well, by my one day a week in University where I receive a wider range of experience as well as sharing the experiences of my course-mates in other schools which may be very different to my own placement. 

I find it a useful having sessions in University on different topic areas that I haven’t yet come across in school and it is very research led in terms of current pedagogy. I’m learning to be critical of research and to look more deeply into papers that I read. Then to take those ideas and theories into school and apply and try out new ideas.  

As a Maths Scholar, I also have the privilege of attending some great CPD opportunities beyond that of my course-mates and the University session is a good place to share any relevant resources and advice that I have received. Our recent training with Dr Ems Lord from NRICH was very helpful and I was able to share some ideas from that session in a starter activity in University. 

Finally, there is the added bonus (as Friday is my day in University) that Thursday evening, after 4 days in school feels like the end of a week’s work because Friday in university has a totally different feel. Plus, my school colleagues are very envious of the fact that I walk out on a Thursday evening and don’t have to come into school again until Monday. Slightly less so, when I remind them of the assignments that I have to complete! 

By Delia Hardyman 

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