No easy route for specialists

10th January 2003 at 00:00
As Emag is devolved to schools, it is up to each eligible school to decide on its own staffing needs in raising the attainment of its ethnic minority pupils, so there is no set route to becoming an Emag teacher.

lThe DfES recommends that teachers have at least one year's teaching experience. Some authorities may advise appointing candidates who hold specialist qualifications such as teaching English as a second language.

* Specialist training on Ema may be available. As Emag is part of the Standards Fund, supply cover is not included in training costs so you may need to argue for these courses to be seen as a priority. You could apply for bursary funding for specialised research and training or try organisations such as the British Council.

* Being multilingual is not a prerequisite. However, a school may seek to appoint teachers who share a heritage language with its pupils and can draw from their own experience in supporting children learning English as an additional language.

* Your school should have appropriate resources to reflect the multiethnicity of today's society. All pupils in all schools should have access to these materials.

* You should aim for a system of collaborative teaching and planning with mainstream teachers. Most of your teaching should be alongside the classroom teacher with you leading some whole class sessions - this raises the profile of the Ema post and gives the class teacher time to monitor and assess pupils' progress.

* Check that your school has effective policies. For example, what induction is there for new arrivals and what provision is there for initial assessment of EAL pupils?

* You will need to monitor pupils' progress and attainment with regard to ethnicity. Targets have to be set and results for each significant group analysed. Some pupils will require individual action plans but others may be working towards group objectives.

You may also want to build up home-school links and ensure that you are aware of other community services which can support your pupils.

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