Son wants to go into teaching – which route to take?

geek84 MAAT Posts: 568 💫 🐯 💫
Good Morning folks

I hope you're all well. My son will be sitting his GCSE exams this summer. However, he is not confident that he will achieve the required minimum 5 GCSE grades between A and C in order to progress to A level study.

This is going to have a domino effect because in the long run he wants to become a secondary school teacher and in order to get there, he would need to study for a degree at university, In order to study for the degree, he would need to achieve his A levels. And as stated in the previous paragraph, he may not be able to get on to the A level study programme since he may not achieve the 5 GCSE passes.

I know most of you would say wait until he sits the exams and the results come out then plan ahead. But we both want to plan as far ahead as possible. If he achieves his 5 GCSEs then great he would be able to progress on to the A level study. However, what if he doesn't achieve his GCSE passes? What would you suggest?

I think one route is going on to the BTec course which has less strict entry requirements. However, I get the feeling that most teaching courses at universities do not look favourably on BTec applicants. Is that true? If my son does take the BTec route, would any particular Btec be more suited if he wants to progress on to a university degree teaching course? Or is it just a matter of ringing around local universities and finding out which Btec courses they would allow entry on to their university teaching courses?

Finally, another option would be to retake the GCSEs for another academic year, in order to make sure he achieves his required 5 GCSE passes and progress on to the A level course and then the university teaching course.

What would you suggest?

Thank You.


  • James_B
    James_B Unregistered / Not Logged In, Registered, Tutor, Affiliate Posts: 33

    I'm no expert but my wife was a primary school teacher for 8 years and often she mentioned that her teaching assistants were going to be put through teacher training and would then become full teachers. There's an article here about it:

    I think that there are teaching assistant courses that only require GCSE maths and English.

    So I don't think university is the only route (Although it may be the fastest to become a fully qualified teacher) however if my suggested route works out, he would probably be in a paid job sooner with less/no student debt. You should probably look into this in more detail as it may have changed (My wife left education in 2009) but thought I would just share my experience. Good luck.
  • geek84
    geek84 MAAT Posts: 568 💫 🐯 💫
    Thanks. Can I be cheeky enough to ask why your wife left the profession?

    Any more advice greatly asprecait4ed.
  • Bertie
    Bertie Registered Posts: 376

    1)If your son wanted to pass he'd pass.

    2)Only the brightest should become teachers.

    3)Why not accountancy?

  • James_B
    James_B Unregistered / Not Logged In, Registered, Tutor, Affiliate Posts: 33
    No problem, she did end up leaving as she felt the job focused too much on the paperwork and pigeonholing the children into categories of "good at maths", "bad at science etc". She felt that the reason she got into teaching was to help children grow and inspire them and that towards the end she was having to focus on their limitations etc.

    This was primary school however so it may be a different situation in secondary school. I again wouldn't recommend you put too much value on my account. My wife only worked in one school and took a lot of responsibility on very quickly (Running a language department and looking after special educational needs). I think I read a third of teachers leave within 5 years but that does mean 66% stick with it. Again after spending some time in schools under employment he may find he likes the profession or wants to go a different route.
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