Study Type: Higher Education
Study Location: The Roundhouse
Subject Studied: Teacher Training, Coaching and Mentoring
PGCE enables school teacher Danny to change career direction
Taking the “long journey into higher education” has worked out well for special school teacher Danny Page.
Danny, who comes from a construction industry background, is now Head of Subjects in the Vocational Education department at Kingsmead School in Derby after qualifying as a teacher via Derby College’s PGCE course.
Ready for a new challenge, Danny, now 52, began working as a vocational skills teaching assistant in 2000 after being made redundant from his construction job.
He enjoyed the role but realised that in order to progress in teaching he needed to go down the HE route.
Initially it was quite a change; Danny had not sat in a classroom since taking his BTEC diploma in Building Studies at Derby College’s old Wilmorton site.
After doing an access into higher education course for TAs at Leicester University, followed by a foundation degree in education studies at Derby University, he went on to complete a BA Hons degree part-time, achieving a first.
Thanks to the support of Kingsmead School, Danny then took his PGCE at Derby College, enabling him to qualify as a teacher and apply for senior teaching and leadership roles.
He said: “I liked my PGCE course – I’d go as far as saying that I value it even more than my BA Hons degree. The teaching at Derby College was brilliant.
“Our lecturers, Melanie and Roberta, modelled good teaching practice. They didn’t just stand in front of the classroom showing us a PowerPoint; they set us tasks.
Since he completed his PGCE in 2016, several of Danny’s colleagues have gone on to do theirs and he’s now involved in mentoring them.
He added: “Within a couple of years of finishing his PGCE, one colleague became head of maths, which clearly illustrates that having this qualification can lead to quite rapid career progression.”
At Kingsmead, Danny’s department is responsible for teaching students in Years 7 to 11 a broad range of skills in areas such as Design & Technology, Construction, Food Technology and Sport.
Danny added: “The main objective is to teach our students practical life skills such as how to put up a shelf or measure a piece of timber – useful skills they can carry on using after leaving Kingsmead.”
I liked my PGCE course – I’d go as far as saying that I value it even more than my BA Hons degree. The teaching at Derby College was brilliant.