'This is no welcome to teaching'

7th October 2005 at 01:00

Claire Archibald. "If the Scottish Executive is serious in its pledge to increase teacher numbers, then some serious joined-up thinking is required. The Executive has a responsibility to encourage (or require, if necessary) schools to take students for training placements.

"I did get a placement. I found out on the Friday before my observation week started that I was going to Wick! Luckily, I have a supportive husband, no children and no need to keep on a term-time job to fund my study, so the journey was possible for me. Not all ITE students are this fortunate.

"I did not realise that giving up paid, secure employment to embark on the ITE course was effectively playing Russian roulette with my future because the Executive cannot put together a coherent policy."

Alison MacDougall. "Why are schools, excepting the understandable situation of having too many probation teachers already, in a position to refuse to take students? Where is the Government's commitment to future teachers, the ones they said were so desperately needed? Why has the system gone into meltdown?"

Lesley Bloomer. "We have been told that quite a few schools simply refuse to take students on placement, saying they should send them back in the third term 'when they can do their job properly'.

This is disgraceful. We really don't feel we are receiving support from local schools and it makes it hard to believe that there will be jobs for all of us at the end of this. Don't demand more teachers if you cannot persuade schools to take on trainees."

Alison Johnston. "The PGCE is rightly a demanding course and many of us have other demands such as family and travel. I find it hard to comprehend how we have come to be placed under this extra stress. Surely, when they increased the number of places on the course they must have taken into consideration that extra places at universities would require corresponding places in schools?

Apart from anything else, it is not pleasant to be considered such a burden on the schools. This is no welcome to teaching."

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