PGCE qualification in France

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PGCE qualification in France


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Old 20th October 2011, 05:30 PM
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Default PGCE qualification in France

Hello fellow Francophiles,

I am considering doing a Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) in 2013. Obviously this depends on the funding for the course. I would like to teach History to secondary/post 16 age group in Paris or Bordeaux. I do speak French resonably well I did the certificate in French with The Open University. Is the PGCE qualification recognised in France? How easy or difficult is it to enter the French education system?

All replies appreciated.

Thanks,

Paul

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Old 21st October 2011, 05:37 AM
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I can't answer your question about whether this qualification is recognised or not, but I can tell you about the education system.

If you want to work in a public school (primary/secondary or university) you need to pass a competitive exam at the end of which (if you pass) you are offered a work placement/a contract. So even if everyone passes, not everyone can get a job because there are simply not enough available.

You either have to pass the Agrégation (AGREG) or the CAPES, basically these concours give you a job as a fonctionnaire, which is why you wouldn't be eligible to take them if you do not have French or EU citizenship (luckily you are from the EU). The CAPES is less prestigious, and these teachers who are only "certifiés" (ie they have the CAPES) they are given more hours of work to do and are paid less for it than those who are "agrégés" (with the Agrégation).
However, the bad thing about the CAPES is that if you pass, you must teach at the school where l’Education Nationale assigns you. You can’t really choose where you want to work.
There is also the CAFEP-CAPES which is open to non-EU citizens since it is only for private schools, but there are a very limited number of places.

The other option is quite simply to just apply directly to private institutions without doing any of the concours. If you find a job this is the simplest option, and it's not overly difficult since you don't need a work permit.


Last edited by _Sarah_; 21st October 2011 at 05:47 AM.
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Old 21st October 2011, 06:04 AM
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I forgot to say that in order to prepare for these exams, students usually attend the IUFM for one year, which is like teacher training school, and then enrol in the exam at the end of the year.
Portail des IUFM (Instituts Universitaires de Formation des Matres)

I also think that the rules recently changed (as of last year). Before, you could pass the exam with only a Bachelors degree, but I think now you need at least a Masters. Can anyone confirm?
http://www.iufm.education.fr/images/...cours-Univ.jpg

Now I'm confused, does the IUFM actually offer you to do a Masters there?
http://www.iufm.fr/applis/masters/sommaire.php

I think I understand now - you do a Masters which is best suited to the exam subject you wish to pass.


Last edited by _Sarah_; 21st October 2011 at 06:16 AM.
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Old 21st October 2011, 12:36 PM
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Hi Sarah,

Thank you for your information on the PGCE qualification in France. Wow! I did not realise the French education is bit of a minefield. I am on the understanding that I would have to do the French equivalent to the PGCE and maybe a Masters on top. I might be lucky and get a teaching post. No disrespect to the posting within the French system but being sent to Calais or Dunkirk. Really is not my idea of living in France. Apologies to any expats who live and work in these cities. I think I may have to reconsider the teaching career and look at another career or take my chances in the private education sector.

Merci beaucoup.

Paul

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Old 21st October 2011, 01:13 PM
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I made it sound a bit complicated, sorry.
I think you basically have two choices:
- get into a Masters course then pass the exam, but you may not end up working where you want (no freedom at all)
- apply in the private sector independently

Obviously the later is simpler, and I think having the UK passport will give you an advantage. All the best!

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Old 12th November 2011, 01:52 PM
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I did the CAPES in 2005 and the pass rate was and still is low, approx 20% of people enrolled pass. Afterwards it is totally true that unless (sometimes even though) you are married with children, you can be sent to work anywhere in france including the DOM TOMs, but realistically this will be in outskirts of paris, lille or amiens. after the first year you can choose where you want to go but there is a points system and you have to have more points than other people wanting to go to that region and again you can be sent to any school within the rregion. it's really pretty random and i have a friend who is married with a baby who works in a school 3 hours away from her husband, so they don't see each other in the week! it is the total opposite of the english way, the school has no say at all in the teachers they get.

you do indeed now have to have a masters in order to take the CAPES/agregation (which by the way does not mean you can choose where you work either), whihc you will not necessarily pass. you can however sign up to take the CAPES and work on your own, just coming over for the exams. You are not obliged to be in France in order to sign up or take lessons. after the CAPES/agregation you now start straight away as a teacher with no training at all beforehand. The IUFM basically are too expensive and are being done away with, but not replaced, hence the no training for new teachers. it is a quite ridiculous situation.

I also worked at a university for a year but if you have no teaching qualifiactions at all i'm not sure how itnerested they would be unless you had a degree in something specific and rare.

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Old 13th November 2011, 12:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aimee21 View Post
You are not obliged to be in France in order to sign up or take lessons. after the CAPES/agregation you now start straight away as a teacher with no training at all beforehand. The IUFM basically are too expensive and are being done away with, but not replaced, hence the no training for new teachers. it is a quite ridiculous situation.

I also worked at a university for a year but if you have no teaching qualifiactions at all i'm not sure how itnerested they would be unless you had a degree in something specific and rare.
It also depends on what Masters you do, whether or not you get 'teacher training'. For example, you could do a Masters in English (civilisation, literature) and then try out for the exam having had no teaching experience.
There's also Masters that do involve teaching training. The Masters I'm hoping to do is Master professionnel Spécialité : enseignement et formation en anglais, which includes specific preparation for the CAPES and also allows you do do teaching stages throughout the degree.

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Old 13th November 2011, 03:01 PM
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Yes that could be useful, I don't know the content of that.
The most important training to be done though is in the classroom and specifically for discipline. All the theory in the world will not help anyone in front of an unmotivated and unruly class.
I would suggest to anyone considering teaching to get as much "battlefield" experience as possible, particularly if you do not have natural authority
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Old 13th November 2011, 03:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blighty Paul View Post
Hello fellow Francophiles,

I am considering doing a Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) in 2013. Obviously this depends on the funding for the course. I would like to teach History to secondary/post 16 age group in Paris or Bordeaux. I do speak French resonably well I did the certificate in French with The Open University. Is the PGCE qualification recognised in France? How easy or difficult is it to enter the French education system?
I think the best option for you is to go for jobs in international/British schools in France. They will accept UK teaching qualifications and particularly welcome those with a track record of successfully preparing pupils for GCSE and A Levels. Make sure you complete your NQT induction first, to make it easy to return to UK and take up teaching position in a state school.

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Old 14th November 2011, 11:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aimee21 View Post
I did the CAPES in 2005 and the pass rate was and still is low, approx 20% of people enrolled pass. Afterwards it is totally true that unless (sometimes even though) you are married with children, you can be sent to work anywhere in france including the DOM TOMs, but realistically this will be in outskirts of paris, lille or amiens. after the first year you can choose where you want to go but there is a points system and you have to have more points than other people wanting to go to that region and again you can be sent to any school within the rregion. it's really pretty random and i have a friend who is married with a baby who works in a school 3 hours away from her husband, so they don't see each other in the week! it is the total opposite of the english way, the school has no say at all in the teachers they get.

you do indeed now have to have a masters in order to take the CAPES/agregation (which by the way does not mean you can choose where you work either), whihc you will not necessarily pass. you can however sign up to take the CAPES and work on your own, just coming over for the exams. You are not obliged to be in France in order to sign up or take lessons. after the CAPES/agregation you now start straight away as a teacher with no training at all beforehand. The IUFM basically are too expensive and are being done away with, but not replaced, hence the no training for new teachers. it is a quite ridiculous situation.

I also worked at a university for a year but if you have no teaching qualifiactions at all i'm not sure how itnerested they would be unless you had a degree in something specific and rare.
Hi Aimee21,

Thank you for information on the French education system. My degree is in History with European Studies. It was my intention to teach History but now that you have confirmed I would have to do a Masters as well. I think realistically that I will give teaching a miss. Like I said in my previous post the idea of being sent anywhere in France inc. overseas does not appeal to me. I am now looking at accountancy, which I know British accountancy qualifications are internationally recognised.

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