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Letters extra: PGCE students' commitment

I feel I have to respond to a letter (28.02.03) from a student at Christ Church University Canterbury who complained that PGCE students do not work as hard and are not as prepared as BEd students for teaching.

I am a 43-year-old woman, who had to work while doing a degree with the Open University (which took me eight years) so I could fund my courses. I had to re-take GCSEs because Christ Church would not accept CSEs which meant a further two years at night school which again I had to pay for. I have an Advanced Diploma in special educational needs and I worked as a Learning Support Assistant for 11 years.

I have two children one of whom is on the autistic spectrum, I have a home to run (no mum cooking dinners for me and washing my clothes) and I am now on a 'survival' course where we have to do almost the same training that the BEd's do packed into 10 months. I have assignments, teaching practice, planning and I'm not dedicated? Please - grow up! This silly bitterness over the training salary is getting boring.

To get through the PGCE you've GOT to be dedicated, hard-working and feel vocationally drawn to teaching so give us a break and stop whinging. I've paid my way and all I've ever wanted to do was teach, what's more I'll be good at it because this course makes or breaks you and those who 'just feel like a career change' wouldn't last five minutes on what is a very challenging as well as stimulating course.

Tina Godden Kent

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