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Q: Is it possible to train as a primary schoolteacher while working as a classroom assistant?

A: Shelia: I worked as a teaching assistant and studied for my degree part-time at night. I did a degree at Glasgow Caledonian University, where I got to pick my own modules. I then applied to do the full-time postgraduate teacher training (primary) at Jordanhill.

There is a course you can do part-time through your job as a teaching assistant, while keeping your job.

Alxsan: The BA child and youth studies is an online course which allows you to keep working as a classroom assistant. If you get in touch with Inverness or Perth College they could advise. You could do the course part- or full-time. It depends how much time you have to study in the evenings. I am now thinking about postgraduate.

Ted Striker: I worked as a classroom assistant for two years while I undertook the part-time PGCE at Strathclyde University in 2003. There were 17 people on my course, many of them classroom assistants. It's a fantastic way to do it, especially if you have a family.

Maturity: If you do not have the qualifications to apply for university, you can go on an Access to Primary Education course for a year which may, after interview, get you onto the four-year BEd course. Not all Access students get a place at university, however.

- If you do have the qualifications (four Highers, including maths and English), you can apply directly for the full-time, four-year BEd course. Or you could go through college on the HNC, HND, third year at university route to gain an ordinary degree (BSc) in childcare studies, then apply as a postgrad for teacher training for a PGCE (full-time). It can be done.

www.tes.co.ukcommunity.

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