Long-Term Career Opportunities Within the Education Sector
Michele Crichton is a Guidance and Development Adviser with the Transition to Teach programme and works to support participants as they train to teach. She has over 30 years’ experience in various education roles and holds a PhD in Education. Here, Michele discusses job security within the education sector and the roles your PGCE can lead you to – some of which you might not even have known existed!
We live in interesting times. Sometimes it can be difficult to see how you can achieve your personal and career aspirations when dealing with unprecedented situations such as the possibility of redundancy and/or a career change.
However, interesting times, while challenging, can offer up a range of career options and alternative roles to consider. Perhaps even roles that you might not have previously thought about or that you didn’t even know existed! You may not have considered teaching as a route to achieving your personal and career aspirations, however I’d like to make you reconsider this. The education sector offers fantastic job security and a myriad of opportunities for skilled practitioners.
I started my career as a teacher but, back then, I never could have envisaged me now nor the career I now have. Over the years, I have worked in many roles such as a classroom teacher, school adviser, additional lead inspector for Ofsted and as a school inspector for the Ministry of Education in the UAE, but there has always been a constant throughout my career; the golden thread of education.
After having children, I moved from the classroom to become a local authority adviser then a lecturer, then an adviser at a different local authority when we moved to a new house (my choice). I then became an independent educational consultant when we moved again (my husband’s choice!) and then decided I wanted another challenge and became an inspector in the UAE. On my return to Blighty, I once again picked up being an independent educational consultant and I continue to love, love, love what I do! My role has it all; from the people I meet, the variety of projects I work on, job security, a long-term career, and the continued privilege of entering so many different schools and settings. I get to see a multitude of practices and to constantly try and implement my knowledge and experience to each new situation. All of this has stemmed from starting as a teacher, and I’ve never regretted any of it.
After all these years, I still have friends who have remained in the classroom because that is where they wanted to be - because they love the kids, the buzz, the headaches from planning and marking, the pain of bus duty in the rain and the glamour of the sixth form prom.
Equally, I have friends who have moved out of the school base to become inspectors, advisers and consultants because that is what they wanted to do – because they love the variety and the influence that they can have in education. They love that their skills, knowledge and understanding is constantly added to, and challenged, by those that they work with and for.
So, consider how you can achieve your personal and career aspirations by exploring teaching and the roles within education that your PGCE can help you access. Maybe your ambition could take you to a role such as assistant head teacher, head of year, head of department, or even head of the school or CEO of a MAT (you’ll pick up the lingo!). These roles could be right for the future you, further down the line - your PGCE could just be the first step in your career in education. That qualified teacher status could also help you access other career options such as a lecturer, or perhaps even supporting future trainees to become teachers… the opportunities are virtually endless, and I could easily go on!
Education is a big issue, it can be frustrating and complex. It’s pan-dimensional, non-binary, multi-cultural and inclusive. It’s not perfect, but what is? Whether you’re male or female, in a management or leadership role, or aspiring to be in one, education is a world full of opportunities and challenges for you to consider. And, importantly, it’s a place where you can potentially fulfil those personal and career aspirations.
Are you interested in training to teach? Transition to Teach is a government-funded programme offering free support and advice for those who are facing redundancy and may be interested in teaching. For more information, simply express your interest at https://www.transitiontoteach.co.uk/expression-of-interest/.