Setting the scene

27th January 2006 at 00:00
I am currently a peripatetic drama teacher. I teach nursery to GCSE drama.

I have spent two years at high school teaching drama at GCSE level. I am thinking of teaching in primary schools permanently. How do I go about doing this as my PGCE was for secondary drama teaching only? Is there a conversion course or would I have to go back to university?

Competition for teaching posts in the primary sector is tough at the moment: too many trained teachers and not enough jobs to go round. The fact that you have worked with primary age children will be a help, but may not be enough by itself to allow you to make the change in career. Because of the over-supply, conversion courses don't really exist at this time. You don't need new certification, but attending some professional development courses for primary classroom teachers would be a sensible move. You might also talk with some of the primary headteachers you meet through your peripatetic work about the possibility of spending a week or so in their school on a voluntary basis. They might also advise you whether or not they can see you as a successful teacher in the primary sector. As a drama teacher, will you feel comfortable with, for instance, teaching numeracy, and only seeing the same children week in and week out for a whole year? If you enjoy the peripatetic life, think seriously before making any change: the grass is not always greener on the other side.

If you have a question for John Howson, please email

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