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Another rung on the ladder

LISA WINSTANLEY is no different to many of her friends who left St Andrew's College three years ago. First stop on the career ladder was the supply list.

Ms Winstanley, aged 24, is luckier than many. She is one of around 14 staff in West Dunbartonshire employed on permanent supply, ending the insecurity and poorer conditions of short-term work.

She is also luckier than many, having completed two years of probation in only a handful of schools, including almost two years in one primary.

Last week she was in Carleith primary, Duntocher, but accepts she could be transferred anywhere within the council's boundaries. The authority is trying to place her on long-term cover. "I am quite happy to stay in West Dunbartonshire because I live in Balloch," she says.

Ms Winstanley recognises the pros and cons of her current position. "I look upon this whole experience very positively and obviously in the future I would look to have a permanent post in a school," she says. "But I am enjoying the challenge of working in different schools. You are gaining experience and confidence and learning from a variety of professionals."

Most of her work has been with the middle stages but she has the P2s at Carleith. "You have to be ready to change and adapt," she accepts.

Ms Winstanley enjoys the same conditions of service as permanent colleagues and has been encouraged to sign up for staff development courses.

Regular meetings with the other permanent supply staff provide further support.

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