Ready for tide of new trainees

20th May 2005 at 01:00
Boroughmuir High is a best case scenario with a top class probationer. But Edinburgh wants to ensure all schools have induction managers, even those that currently don't have probationers.

A training course is being run this month for 57 induction managers so that they will be ready, should a probationer be allocated to their school.

The authority's development officer, Mo Cunningham, has booked Boroughmuir High's induction manager, Sheena Greco, to contribute to the course on good practice and discuss her experiences at the school.

Despite moving toward mentoring for some years, Edinburgh is aware it is running out of time. It is not the only one. The need for formal, structured support to be in place as soon as possible exists for all local authorities, as the approaching flood of probationers due out of college at the end of this academic year comes ever closer.

In 2004-05, Edinburgh was given an allocation of 117 probationers, but in the end had 140. With an estimated 25 per cent increase in probationers next year, Ms Cunningham is expecting demand for placements to reach 170.

She predicts even greater pressure the following year, when numbers of probationers rise again by 75 per cent.

"It could mean around 240 probationers," she says with a rueful smile. "Our schools have to be ready."

The authority has been watching Boroughmuir High closely, as it hopes this will be a pattern rolled out to all schools, and possibly for student teacher placements.

"We have a real success story here, but we have got less able probationers who will blossom with this approach," says Ms Cunningham.

"In the old days they often just failed or struggled through with their classes. That shouldn't happen now. Mentoring will help them develop."

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