The General Teaching Council for Scotland

A Leap of Faith

After a career in secondary teaching, Jenny Shepherd successfully gained Provisional Registration in Primary Teaching through the Professional Learning route

Provisional Registration in another sector or subject can be an exciting way to enhance professional learning, as well as developing more skills within the profession. The GTC Scotland registration team assist teachers who are wishing to register in another sector without the need for a university course.

This is done through a Professional Learning (PL) Plan.

  • For primary teachers applying for registration in the secondary sector, you are required to complete an agreed PL Plan that enables you to teach the subject in which registration is being sought in primary schools.
  • For secondary teachers wishing to register in primary, you will be required to organise a PL Plan and discuss with your Supporter your current knowledge of mainstream primary education.

After a successful career in secondary education, Jenny Shepherd decided to become provisionally registered in primary teaching. Originally seeking a place on a university course which helped secondary teachers make the transition, she found that the course was pulled at the last minute. She then decided to contact GTC Scotland to pursue her goal through a PL Plan.

“After eighteen years in secondary, I was feeling ready for a new challenge. I wanted to take the opportunity to use the skills that I had learnt through teaching secondary in an entirely new context.

John Adams from the registration team was brilliant at explaining the process of how to gain Provisional Registration without university.

John Adams from the registration team was brilliant at explaining the process of how to gain Provisional Registration without university. Although it was daunting to create my own Professional Learning Plan, it was much more individually suited to me, with help from my mentor at the primary school.”

Jenny has three children and was also working part-time throughout this process. Due to the fact that the PL Plan was so flexible, she found that it suited her situation better than a university course would, as she also felt that she was in control of her professional learning.

Now Jenny is working in a temporary full-time post in a single primary school, a role that she able to apply for after gaining Provisional Registration in primary teaching. After starting her PL programme in August 2017, she gained Provisional Registration in April 2018. Now, she is looking forward to hopefully gaining full registration in January.

Be brave and go for it! With so many teachers leaving the profession, it is so important to know that there are other options.

To pursue her career development, Jenny had left her permanent job in secondary teaching within the private sector in the hope that she would find employment.

“It did feel a bit like I was walking off a cliff,” Jenny said. “I may return to secondary teaching in the future but, for now, I’m planning to stick with primary teaching, partly because I am enjoying it so much more than the latter part of my secondary teaching.”

For teachers considering pursuing registration in another sector, Jenny has advice. “Spend time in the sector that you are thinking of moving to. Don’t assume that primary is easier than secondary or the other way around. It is also important to remember that all schools are different so visit as many as you can to see what the sector can be like.”

She also offers encouragement following her positive experience. “Be brave and go for it! With so many teachers leaving the profession, it is so important to know that there are other options.”

More information

If you are interested in pursuing Provisional Registration through the Professional Learning route, find out more information here: http://www.gtcs.org.uk/registration/professional-registration.aspx.

Contact our registration team: profreg@gtcs.org.uk.