The Independent School Postgraduate Certificate of Education has been developed in close consultation with the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference (HMC). Since 2002 it has been offering teachers in the independent sector, who have not undergone a period of formal teacher training, the opportunity to participate in a structured programme of professional development. This course is for Primary, Prep schools and Senior Schools.
This course is widely recognised and will qualify trainees to teach in the independent sector, schools in Scotland and many Academies in England. But if you would prefer to qualify with QTS, and you teach in a school in England, please look at either our Primary Prep or Secondary PGCE with QTS courses.
How does this differ from the PGCE with QTS?
It does not require a second school placement, and there is no requirement to attend an interview or to undertake professional skills assessments. You can have a fewer teaching hours on your timetable than is required for QTS. In addition, you do not need to teach across two key stages – which is a requirement of QTS.
What is the point of doing a PGCE if I am already working in a school?
- A doctor does not simply learn to recognise symptoms and the best-known response to those symptoms. He/she knows the deeper causes of each illness and the way such illness might impact different people. In the same way, a teacher should know the deeper theoretical background to different teaching strategies, such as mixed ability teaching or differentiation, something which will enable them to teach with professional confidence. To achieve this they need to read and evaluate recent research and texts.
- Although part of a teacher’s ability depends on their subject knowledge and force of personality, there are specific skills (the ‘craft of the classroom’) that need to be grasped if they are to be truly effective. All teachers, for example, need to know about pupils with special needs. All need to know about the most effective ways of maintaining good behaviour. All should know about the best ways of ensuring pupils capture what you are teaching them in their long-term memories.
- Having taken the trouble to gain this qualification will show your employer and future employers that you are a serious, professional employee.
- The PGCE at The University of Buckingham is a Level 7 course and is therefore designed to be intellectually stimulating. It leads on to an MA for those who wish to take that more advanced qualification.
The PGCE is a 37-week school-based course, during which time you will work under the guidance of a mentor and receive weekly tutorials to review progress and set targets. It is available in most subjects and to all age levels. There are four residentials (nine days overall) to attend and these are supplemented by a weekly programme on the University’s online resources. You will be assigned a university tutor who visits once per term to assess your progress and guide your development. You will be assessed by both your mentor and your tutor and there are three assignments to complete.
For teachers undertaking their first year of teaching we highly recommend participation in our Ab Initio course as an addition to the PGCE. This will provide you with some basic knowledge and skills to start teaching.
Your subject specialism
Different school subjects demand different teaching methods and resources, so part of the residential course will be taught by a subject specialist. Our subject specialists this year include Art, Music, Design Technology, Business Studies & Economics, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Maths, Computer Science, English, Drama, Classics, Modern Languages, Geography, History, Religious Studies, Psychology, and PE.
Prep school teachers join the Secondary subject-specific sessions on the Wednesdays during residentials.
The dates of the residentials for those teaching PE are slightly different from those teaching other subjects.
The normal start date is September. This has the advantage that the whole course can be completed within one academic year.