Student teachers in class after five weeks of training

The Herald reports that trainee teachers would be allowed to start work in Scotland after a five week summer school under controversial proposals for a new fast-track course.

Documents obtained under freedom of information legislation show the educational charity Teach First has suggested the setting up of a Scottish Summer Institute as part of a briefing to John Swinney, the Deputy First Minister and Education Secretary.

Teach First is talking to the Scottish Government after ministers decided to put out to tender a new fast-track teacher training course targeted at plugging vacancies in rural schools and key subjects such as science, technology and maths.

However, the proposal for an intensive summer school will prove controversial because it undermines the traditional model of university teacher education where postgraduate students undertake a year of study – including work placements – before joining a school as a probationer in their second year.

Such a proposal is likely to be highly controversial as it would mean individuals working in schools, and even teaching classes, before meeting GTCS teacher standards.

A spokeswoman for the Educational Institute of Scotland said: “The Teach First proposal would give such trainees just a few weeks training before putting them into the classroom at the start of the academic year to teach pupils, presumably together with a qualified teacher, and then the trainees would rise to act as the lead class teacher before the end of the first year. The EIS believes the teaching responsibilities placed on these trainees would be premature and excessive, and would be to the detriment of the pupils.”

Read more Student teachers in class after five weeks of training

What do you think? Risky and reckless or an interesting idea? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via twitter ~ Tamsin

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