Could a ‘tartan Teach First’ be finding its feet?

As the fast-track teacher training scheme inches closer to reality in Scotland, Emma Seith travels south of the border to find out how Scottish recruits in England are faring in one South Shields school

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“Katie. Lisa. Kelsey.” Headteacher, Brendan Tapping, reels off the names, checking them off on his fingers as he goes. He effortlessly reaches half a dozen. These are some of the Scots – past and present – who have come to England to take part in the Teach First training programme and who have ended up working at his school, St Wilfrid’s College in South Shields.

“Rather selfishly, I would say to Scotland ‘don’t bother’ [introducing Teach First], because if it does happen, that puts at risk the high calibre of staff I have the opportunity to recruit into St Wilfrid’s,” he says.

Teach First ...

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