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Monday, 18 March, 2002, 16:52 GMT
'Hands-on' teacher training is booming
helping in class
The graduate training programme pays 13,000
A record number of people are signing up for an "on-the-job" teacher training programme designed to get the over-24s into the classroom.

The number of places offered on the Graduate Teacher Programme in one academic year has exceeded 3,000 for the first time since it was set up in 1997/8, the Teacher Training Agency reports.

The scheme lets people who already have a degree work in schools as unqualified teachers while they train.

Approximately half of the 3,213 candidates will be going into secondary schools to teach shortage subjects such as science and mathematics.

Graduate training scheme places

Year 2000/01
Autumn term 548
Spring term 510
Summer term 449

Year 2001/02
Autumn term 1,290
Spring term 1,083
Summer 840

Source: TTA

And more than 29,000 people are expected to begin teacher training courses - at undergraduate and postgraduate level - during the current academic year, the highest number for seven years.

The chief executive of the training agency, Ralph Tabberer, said the number of applications for places on the Graduate Training Programme starting in this year's summer term was almost twice as many as for the same period last year.

"The tougher competition for places has brought a noticeable increase in the quality of the applications submitted," Mr Tabberer.

Places on the programme had been awarded to the best qualified candidates, who would train in particularly good schools and would be supported by the strongest training programmes, he said.

Unsuccessful candidates could request advice on other routes into teaching, such as one of the 1,500 places on part-time, flexible courses, he added.


The programme is aimed at a specific group of people who would not otherwise be able to enter full-time study.

But the focus remains the Bachelor of Education and Post-Graduate Certificate of Education (PGCE) routes.

pupil in lab
Approximately half of this year's GTP candidates are teaching in shortage subjects like science
The School Standards Minister, Stephen Timms, said: "In the last four school years, the Graduate Teacher Programme has brought well over 6,000 career-changers into teaching.

"Almost half of them are in the secondary shortage subjects, where demand for teachers is greatest."

Head teachers in England can get 17,000 to cover a candidate's 13,000 salary, plus training costs.

Now the government has lifted a limit on the number of graduate training places available - but heads can get only a 4,000 grant to cover the costs of training, and have to meet the 13,000 salary from their own budgets.

See also:

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