Council backs Scots model

3rd December 2004 at 00:00
Ministers should seriously consider giving every newly-qualified teacher a guaranteed job, the General Teaching Council for Wales (GTCW) has urged.

Chief executive Gary Brace cautiously backed calls for a guaranteed induction year for NQTs, along the lines of the Scottish model (see left), in the wake of the revelation that only a third of last year's primary teacher-training graduates had completed induction a year after finishing their courses.

And he warned that the Assembly government must get to grips with fundamental questions over the nature of teacher-training in Wales. Mr Brace urged ministers to give their forthcoming initial review the widest possible brief.

NQTs in Scotland are guaranteed a job for their first year to allow them to complete induction.

Mr Brace said: "Subject to full evaluation of the Scottish system - which seems to be working - it would work in Wales and it would resolve some of those situations we're getting of NQTs not being able to find an induction place."

The Scottish system would have to be adapted as its local authorities have the power to appoint NQTs to schools with vacancies.

"In Wales, school governing bodies are the final arbiters of who they employ. So you would need co-operation because it would mean a headteacher being given a teacher whom in normal circumstances they might not take," Mr Brace said.

The other key difference is the "permeable" border between Wales and England. Unlike Scotland, a significant proportion of trainee teachers in Welsh institutions are either English or plan to teach in England. Some IT courses - in particular at Aberystwyth university - also have large numbers of Irish students.

That helps explain why, of some 2,400 graduates from ITT courses in 2003, only roughly 1,600 registered with the GTCW. "Forty per cent of those who train in Wales don't intend to teach here," Mr Brace said.

"Does the government in Wales see Welsh institutions as only producing teachers to meet its own needs and targets? Or does it take the view - which prevails at present - that it's an open market?" said Mr Brace.

Observers are disappointed at the slow progress in the Assembly's inquiry into teacher training. A contract to conduct the inquiry has yet to be advertised, and no terms of reference have been published. Meanwhile, the GTCW is hopeful that more of last year's NQTs will be shown to have started induction when the latest figures are published in January.

Write to TES Cymru, Sophia House, 28 Cathedral Road, Cardiff CF11 9LJ.

Email 029 2066 0207

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now