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I am a (male) qualified history teacher with 8 years experience, primarily in secondary schools, although I have limited experience in middle schools and the occasional day of supply here and there in primary. I am considering moving into primary. Are there any specific conversion courses available for me? how long are they? would I be considered for interview with my secondary background? Any advice would be greatly appreciated thanks
An interview after very little primary experience is highly unlikely I'm afraid. With 8 years experience, I'm assuming you are either on M6 or UPS, primary trained and experienced teachers at that level struggle to find posts. An NQT who has just trained as a primary, or someone with 1-2 years of primary experience will be ten grand or so cheaper than you and yet effectively have more experience. That is the reality.
Try doing lots more supply in primary schools, if you can, and build up a local reputation. You may even get a long term supply post that may lead to a contract post. But it is a long shot.
All you actually have to do is apply for posts along with everyone else and convince a HT that you are the very best candidate.
Good Luck, but it is going to be hard.
I would echo what Minnie has said. The only way in is really through supply and that won't be easy. I've got a teaching post through doing supply but I'm primary trained and it still took ages. Supply is unreliable - I didn't need full time work so I was OK but if you need a full time income you'll struggle.
Have you thought about trying to move into the independent sector? Assuming of course that you aren't already there! Prep schools may value your expertise as a subject specialist if they are looking for a humanities teacher or coordinator. Many prep schools teach in upper KS2 as different subjects rather than having one teacher for everything. Also many independents are all-through schools, so if you prove yourself in KS3, 4 and 5 there may be scope to move into the lower school, or at least run clubs and get more experience with that age group. The main payscale is also not applicable in the independent sector, so if you are too expensive you can negotiate a drop in salary to get your foot in the door.
Couldn't a primary academy choose to give you less remuneration thus making it more "attractive" to employ you?
Both unlikely scenarios I know, but you never know!! A history graduate with a teaching qualification, and teaching experience, could have a lot to offer.
Re: conversion course.
I know an ex Secondary Geography teacher who has recently done a five month (I Think??) conversion courseto teach in Primary. In doing this, he has secured a year's maternity cover for a Year 6 class.
I think that attending the conversion course shows you are willing to commit to primary education and therefore can compete for jobs in this sector, more confidently.
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