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Teachers master art of holiday study

In Lincolnshire school's in for the summer. Genevra Fletcher reports

SCHOOL may be out for summer, but 12 teachers from Lincolnshire are facing the prospect of writing a 4,000-word essay by August 22 on top of the usual holiday marking and preparation.

The Giles secondary, in the remote village of Old Leake, is hosting a three-year masters in education, leadership and development to give 10 of its teachers the chance to do a postgraduate degree.

They are being joined by two teachers from nearby St Bede's Roman Catholic school and St Nicholas's primary.

Chris Walls, head of The Giles, said: "Normally you would do a masters by travelling to your nearest university. But we are in the middle of nowhere.

If you live in a rural area as we do, and the nearest place to study is 45 miles away, it is very difficult for a busy teacher.

"This MA will be delivered at school, on their doorstep."

The teachers, all middle managers, are being funded by a pound;12,000 government leadership incentive grant.

Their tutor is Marianne Hvidzak from Lincoln University, but most of their communication with her will be via the internet.

Fiona Carruthers, art and design teacher at The Giles, said: "It will be great to get to grips with the process of e-learning. And I'll be able to read all these wonderful books."

Alan Castley, maths teacher, said: "I'll be able to look at situations in the classroom and say 'right, that's why you're doing it this way, but why not try that instead?'

"I know that it will improve my lessons.

"We've got a 4,000-word essay to do by August 22 though, and I'm a bit nervous about being the one to be marked, rather than the one doing the marking."

Mr Walls says that at the end of the three years, his 10 teachers will have completed in-depth studies of how The Giles can improve standards. He said:

"I'm also going to have 10 happy teachers who will be retained, which is important in this competitive recruitment market."

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