Tes Scotland visited Glasgow Clyde’s Langside campus on induction day for students on the new course, before it starts in earnest on Tuesday.
Asifa Maqbool, 36, worked as an investment banker for Morgan Stanley and Barclays – but when she decided to change career she found that she didn’t have what was needed to become a teacher in Scotland. She grew up in Pakistan so did not have a Scottish qualification in maths, but also lacked a deep knowledge of the Scottish education system.
“This is an ideal course for me,” says Maqbool. “Instead of doing maths as an evening class, they’ve merged it together with aspects of teaching – like how to communicate with kids, with work experience as well – which is very reassuring.”
Aspiring primary teacher Iskandar Stewart, 36, a sound engineer from the North East of Scotland, says: “I feel more confident because of this course – to know that we’ll be on placement and getting experience in a classroom setting is a great stepping stone for the PGDE.”
Mohammed Ali, 34, also wants to be a primary teacher but “did not do so well at school”, leaving with no job to go to. After a “lucky break”, he started working for the Royal Bank of Scotland in a call centre, before rising to become a manager and working for several banks.
Having recently completed an accountancy degree, he “stumbled across” the Glasgow Clyde course and says the placement it offers is the most attractive aspect.
Georgie Finlayson, 22, a product design and manufacture graduate, plans to become an art and design teacher. She says that Scotland’s school exams are “completely different” to when she was a pupil, but believes this course will help her get up to speed. “I don’t think I’d be ready to apply for university this year without it,” she says.