pound;5,000 bonus aims to make all the difference

8th June 2001 at 01:00
A MAJOR review of the content and organisation of the probation period recommends a radical overhaul of the induction arrangements.

Jim McNally, author of the report, says a set of standards would govern the transition from provisional to full registration, based on competences attained in initial teacher education.

Mr McNally said: "The argument for stability and continuity of experience has been won in principle and is now in the political arena."

The report recommends that every probationer post should have pound;5,000 of funding from the Executive. The annual cost would be pound;9 million, with pound;200,000 for research and development.

Mr McNally said: "My sums are based on the McCrone figures and, I believe, are realistic assumptions. Seventy per cent of the total would go to the school, 20 per cent to the local authority and 10 per cent directly to the new teacher.

Mr McNally stressed the importance of bringing new teachers together for regular meetings but cautioned against disruption to class teaching. Some success had been achieved with twilight classes and Saturday or weekend conferences.

Mr McNally's report, The Induction of New Teachers in Scotland, has been submitted to the General Teaching Council for Scotland and the Executive, which jointly funded the project.

Jim Hutcheson, head of Braes High in Falkirk, welcomed the idea of a probation bonus which he said he would use to increase staffing in the department where the beginners were based.

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