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Become a teacher in just one term

Mature students will become fully-fledged teachers after a classroom-based training course lasting only one term under new government plans to be announced this week.

And, in another radical departure - which demonstrates how seriously the Government is treating the gathering recruitment crisis in teacher training - adults will be able to get a combined degreeteaching qualification in just one year, starting from scratch.

The initiative is aimed at sucking in skilled employees from business and commerce. Would-be teachers who are over 24 will be given a "high-quality, fast-track route into the profession", according to a Department for Education and Employment spokeswoman.

"Ministers think employment-based routes have an important role to play, but they want to make sure that high standards are maintained and that the status of the profesion is not jeopardised."

The Government is particularly keen to tap the pool of scientists, linguists and mathematicians in the business world - areas of severe shortage in education.

Ministers will this week launch a consultation document outlining two new pathways to operate alongside existing training courses. There will be a scheme for graduates, requiring between one term and one year of school-based training.

The Government's Teacher Training Agency, also wants to encourage non-graduates to join the profession. The second new scheme allows mature students to take a classroom-based training course lasting between one and two years from which they will emerge as graduates with qualified teacher status. Consultation on the schemes ends in September.

"These courses are designed to attract people who are deadly serious about going into teaching but don't relish the thought of going through full-time training," said a DFEE spokeswoman.

TES2, page 20

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