Ex-teachers enlisted to help GCSE resit students

The Get Further scheme will link former teachers with college students for mentoring to help them pass English and maths

George Ryan

Get Further will broker volunteering days with the ex-teachers’ current employers and aims to bolster post-16 English and maths education

Former teachers are being called back to the classroom as part of the programme to help GCSE resit students.

The Get Further scheme is being piloted in colleges and involves linking students with teachers who have left the profession so these can mentor the students through their exams.

As a result of a condition of funding, students who left schools with a grade 3 (or D under the old-style qualifications) in their GCSE maths or English have to resit the qualification. 

Students resitting exams up to nine times

A Tes investigation revealed that, as a result of the resit policy, more than a third of last summer's key stage 5 students had sat the exams at least twice before.

Some students had taken the exams as many as nine times.

The Get Further programme was set up by government policy adviser Sarah Waite, a former maths teacher and Teach First ambassador.

Encouraging ex-teachers to return

The mentoring scheme, which is still in its pilot stage, is not a recruitment scheme per se, but it could encourage teachers to consider coming back into education. It won a Teach First Innovation Award this year.

Get Further will broker volunteering days with the ex-teachers’ current employers and aims to bolster post-16 English and maths education.

Ms Waite added: “It will give these former teachers the chance to broaden their skills and have a welcome to the FE sector and hopefully fall in love with it and return to teaching. It would be great to get more people to consider teaching in FE.”

The other aim of the scheme is to bring “new energy and ideas to post-16 English and maths education” and it may act as a way of enticing former teachers to consider a career teaching in a college.

This is an edited version of an article in the 2 November edition of Tes. You can read the full version here. To subscribe, click here. To download the digital edition, Android users can click here and iOS users can click hereTes magazine is available at all good newsagents

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