Glasgow & West Scotland

Teacher training boost for rural schools

Science class Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Chemistry, maths and physics are among the subjects being supported

A new scheme has been launched to help graduates in some of Scotland's most rural areas become teachers without moving away.

Argyll and Bute Council hopes this will help it to recruit teachers.

People taking part in the scheme would work in the area with a mentor while they obtained their teaching qualification.

It still needs approval from the professional body the General Teaching Council of Scotland.

Argyll and Bute Council has been working in partnership with the universities of Dundee and the Highlands and Islands, to agree a programme which will see student teachers based in local schools over an 18-month period.

The training, which is funded through a Scottish government bursary scheme, will enable students to study from home and to spend a substantial time in class under the guidance of a mentor.

There is no suggestion of placing unqualified teachers in charge of lessons.

Target subjects

Subjects currently being offered are chemistry, computing, home economics, maths and physics - all of which are experiencing a shortage of qualified teachers in many parts of Scotland.

People who successfully complete the course would obtain a Post Graduate Diploma in Education and then be able to apply for full registration with the General Teaching Council for Scotland. They could then apply for vacancies.

The scheme may be of particular interest to recent graduates from the area who want to return home or people living in the area who want to change career.

Argyll and Bute Council's Policy Lead for Education, Councillor Yvonne McNeilly said: "We want the very best for our young people and we are committed to training, attracting, and keeping, the highest calibre of teaching staff in Argyll and Bute.

"This scheme is a great opportunity for young people in Argyll and Bute to become fully qualified secondary teachers whilst being given the opportunity to stay in the area, and compliments our existing teacher training scheme which saw 13 students gain their diploma in primary education last year. I have no doubt this will be success.

"Teacher training and recruitment is a national programme, so we welcome this exciting initiative to nurture 'home grown' secondary teachers and look forward to being a full partner in the process."

'Grow your own'

The Council's Head of Education, Anne Paterson said: "Together with our university partners, we have been working extremely hard to get this scheme off the ground. This is a wonderful opportunity for anyone wanting to progress their career and become a secondary teacher, whilst having the option to stay in Argyll and Bute."

This is the latest example of a "grow your own scheme" by a local authority which may find it hard to recruit teachers or fill some vacancies.

Schools in rural areas can often find it more challenging to fill vacancies as it may involve having to attract people to the area and persuading them to move.

There are also difficulties nationally persuading enough graduates in some subjects, such as STEM subjects, to train as teachers.

The closing date for applications is 3 September, with the first intake of students in December this year.