Probationer of the year lands a job with council

26th June 2009 at 01:00
Scotland's probationary teacher of the year, who was facing unemployment when she was presented with her award last week, has now been offered a year's contract with Glasgow City Council.

After receiving her award at a ceremony in Glasgow last Tuesday, Alice Thompson, a chemistry teacher at Eastbank Academy, told The TESS the accolade was all the more significant because of "the demoralising job situation".

Now, however, the council has stepped in and offered Ms Thompson a year- long contract working on A Curriculum for Excellence as one of the additional 100 teachers funded by the Scottish Government to oversee the implementation of the new curriculum.

Ms Thompson said: "Two weeks ago, I couldn't get an interview and now after winning this award I've been offered a job. It's fantastic, obviously, but I do feel guilty because I know a lot of probationers and fully registered teachers will not be getting this opportunity. It's a bit of a bitter-sweet moment."

Nicola Rooney, a primary school probationer in the city and a runner-up for this year's award, has been offered the same deal. According to the council, three more probationers could benefit.

Ms Rooney, who had been preparing to return to her job working in the supermarket chain Morrisons, said she was delighted when she got the call about the job. "I've applied for 30 jobs and heard back from two," she said.

Another runner-up for the "probationer of the year" award, art teacher at Uddingston Grammar in South Lanarkshire, Lorraine Pollock, has secured a permanent, full-time post at new school, St Matthew's Academy in North Ayrshire.

However, Alasdair Tierney, who also made it to the final four, is considering returning to his previous job as a pharmacy technician. He is employed at Douglas Academy in East Dunbartonshire as an RE teacher but will soon be out of work. "There is nothing advertised in my subject in the whole of Scotland," said Mr Tierney, who gets married a week today.

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