Tim Charlton

Tim completed his undergraduate degree in Business Management at a university in Birmingham. A few years into his career, Tim decided he wanted to retrain to work in a job that focused on youth and children.

On choosing to become a primary teacher

Tim Charlton

Since graduating seven years ago, I often considered moving into teaching but, for one reason or another, put it off. Having first worked for IBM, I then moved to work in the charity sector with a focus on youth and children.

I realised a couple of years ago that the thing which was missing in terms of job satisfaction was the ability to make a direct impact on others, particularly children, to help improve their futures. This is something very few other careers provide. 

On picking The University of Manchester

I explored a number of other avenues - for example, TeachFirst or a SCITT - but concluded that the Schools Direct PGCE route was best for me.

I received offers from different providers and different routes. I chose to study at The University of Manchester as they offered a PGCE through School Direct, rather than simply QTS. 

It was a local institution which, having spoken to teachers in leadership roles, I know has a fantastic reputation.

On my PGCE experience

I’ve really enjoyed the many opportunities to spend time in school, not just during my placements but also before these began. By spending time in a number of different schools, looking at a range of subjects and aspects of teaching, I gained great experience to help me when I started in my placement school.

My school-based placements have been great – it’s what the course is all about and makes it all real. Having visits from University tutors, and the odd day here and there during the placement, means you remain connected to the Uni and your course mates.

It might feel like a really long time from receiving an offer to beginning the course, and there are quite a few bits of admin to do but stick with it - and then throw yourself in.

On living in Manchester

I love living in Manchester, which is why I chose to stay here for my PGCE having moved to the area for a new job about 18 months before the course started. There are plenty of things to do on a student budget if, like me, you aren’t eligible for DfE training bursaries. Manchester is a great, exciting city and there is a huge range of schools in the area, and on the course.

After graduating I plan to pursue my career in teaching, working in schools similar to those experienced in my main placements; within inner-city settings.