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pound;200 bonus for pupils who help out in the classroom

A specialist technology school in Lincoln is hoping to encourage pupils to become teachers by offering them practical experience of teaching - and a one-off payment of pound;200.

The Priory school is one of 168 specialist schools in England with training status.

Its scheme lets pupils attend lessons with students studying for a postgraduate certificate in education or on the Graduate Teacher Programme.

They act as classroom assistants and help teachers to prepare lesson plans.

The pound;200 bursary is funded by a local company which has asked to remain anonymous.

Five lower sixth formers and three from the upper sixth joined the scheme, which started this year.

The project was initiated by the deputy head Steve Davies to help tackle the teacher shortage. He said:"We were aware of an interest among pupils who wanted to go into the profession and thought it important to give them experience of teaching."

Yvonne Green, project co-ordinator and an advanced skills teacher at the school, structures the scheme according to pupils' interests. "It is very much driven by them. I ask them 'what skills do you want?'.

"We are involved in a literacy project with a local primary so pupils went there. The school hosts a science day and some of our pupils will be running experiments and working with teachers.

"As much as possible the pupils are replicating the life of a working teacher. They will enter the profession with an idea of what it involves.

"The pound;200 payment comes as a bonus. They are quite surprised that there is a financial incentive."

Lucy Andrewartha, 16, is saving the money to pay to go to university. Then she intends to take a PGCE course.

"It's been good, getting a lot of hands-on experience. Teaching is much better than I thought it would be," she said.

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