Scottish councils’ concerns over quality of probationer teachers

The Herald reports that the Association of Directors of Education in Scotland (ADES) said local authorities had recorded an increase in the number of probationers having to repeat a year who were not seen as being of an appropriate standard.

The concerns over so-called “retrieval” students is highlighted in a submission to the Scottish Parliament’s education committee which is looking at the current teacher recruitment crisis in Scotland.

The submission states: “Some local authorities also report concerns about quality in relation to student and probationer teachers, with an increase in the number of requests from universities for local authorities to accept ‘retrieval’ students and probationers who, in the opinion of their host school supporter and mentor, do not meet the required standards.”

Figures from the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) back up the ADES claim showing record numbers of retrieval students.

In 2013/14 there were 155 retrieval students, but the figure for the current year has climbed to 237 – the highest on record.

The concern arose as it emerged that trainee teachers are reporting gaps in their knowledge of basic skills such as literacy and numeracy.

A survey of probationer teachers published by the Scottish Government shows many would like more training on key subjects.

One stated: “I received very little training or education on early literacy and the mechanics of learning to read.”

Many trainees had positive experiences, but one said: “No examples of lessons or how to teach … mental or written mathematical strategies was taught.”

Read more Scottish councils’ concerns over quality of probationer teachers

Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

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