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New BA in education: 25 places funded

Stirling University's Institute of Education has been funded by the Scottish Government to provide 25 places from September for a new BA degree with honours in professional education (primary), with a specialism in early education.

The move follows the creation of two new degree courses last year for primary teachers - one allowing them to specialise in environmental science and biology, and the other in modern languages (French and Spanish).

Allen Thurston, head of the primary education course, said the new degree was not intended to train people who would be restricted to teaching early years levels, and that it was a primary education degree which allowed students to develop their knowledge of early years - a useful skill for teachers liaising with other professionals.

Students will do part of their training in the psychology department, look at child development and take social work modules, including areas such as health and welfare within the family.

"Teachers, as part of the early years framework, have to work closely with social work and healthcare professionals. That is why we feel it is important for students on this degree course to take some of the professional social work modules," said Dr Thurston.

The students will also take some modules in the nursing and midwifery department on healthcare within the family - the kind of courses that might previously have been done by health visitors - to give them a better understanding of child protection issues.

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