Teacher Training; Teaching Has Not Been So Attractive for 30 Years ; the Success of Recent Initiatives to Draw Teachers Back into the Profession Is Beginning to Show. Wendy Berliner Reports on How Teaching Has Become Financially Lucrative
Berliner, Wendy, The Independent (London, England)
STATE SCHOOLS have just started the long summer holidays but many head teachers will already be looking ahead with dread to the autumn when they won't have enough qualified staff to cover all classes. Part-time education for some pupils is a distinct possibility in the early days of the new term.
Teacher shortages are a long way from being solved although successive initiatives by the Government to increase the flow of people into teacher training are now bearing fruit.
So the good news is that, in cash terms at least, teaching is now a good career option. Training bursaries, child care allowances, golden hellos, and performance-related pay make teaching an attractive financial proposition in a way it hasn't been for 30 years.
Earlier this month the Teacher Training Agency (TTA) announced that this September more than 1,100 people will take up places on the Graduate Teacher Programme, working as unqualified teachers in schools while they follow an individual training programme. This is an 85 per cent increase on the numbers joining the programme last year when 548 places were allocated.
The sharpest rise in successful applicants has been in the key secondary school shortage subjects of maths, science, technology, modern languages and English, with 510 places allocated for September compared with 213 last year. Places for primary teachers in shortage subjects have risen by more than 90 per cent. As well as these confirmed places, provisional offers for September are being made to another 130 applicants, subject to their qualifications being confirmed. There were more than 1,400 applications, nearly twice as many as last year. Unsuccessful applicants will be able to apply again for January and April, when more places are expected to become available.
On the Graduate Teacher Programme, trainees work as unqualified teachers while following an individual programme leading to Qualified Teacher Status. The programme normally takes a year but can be shortened for people with teaching experience. The TTA pays schools a grant of up to pounds 13,000 a year towards the salary of the trainee and up to pounds 4,000 to the school or its training provider for training costs.
Ralph Tabberer, the Chief Executive of the Teacher Training Agency, feels the programme is particularly attractive to people who want to change careers, because they earn a salary while they are training in school. Almost half the inquiries are from people of 31 and over.
"I am delighted that we have been able to allocate the highest number of places in a single tranche, to help meet the rising demand," he says. "The marked increase in applications for secondary shortage subjects is particularly welcome.
"The number of applications enables us …
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Publication information: Article title: Teacher Training; Teaching Has Not Been So Attractive for 30 Years ; the Success of Recent Initiatives to Draw Teachers Back into the Profession Is Beginning to Show. Wendy Berliner Reports on How Teaching Has Become Financially Lucrative. Contributors: Berliner, Wendy - Author. Newspaper title: The Independent (London, England). Publication date: July 26, 2001. Page number: 6. © 2009 The Independent - London. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.