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EDITIONS
Friday, 31 August, 2001, 10:28 GMT 11:28 UK
In at the deep end
Teacher training at Chalvedon School
Trainee teachers get a crash course before term starts
A survey of 800 schools by the Times Education Supplement suggests 20% of the 30,000 teachers appointed this year are regarded by head teachers as unsuitable. BBC News spoke to one trainee who has no formal teaching qualifications.

Alice Chambers graduated from university last year after reading drama. She has never been on a teacher training course but is due to begin teaching next week.


I think there is a lot to be said for jumping in at the deep end

Alice Chambers
Trainee teacher
She told the BBC she was looking forward to starting work at Chalvedon School and Sixth Form College in Basildon, Essex.

She said: "I've always had an interest in teaching. I have done a degree in drama and theatre studies and I am really keen to put all the skills that I learned in those three years into practice.

"I'm nervous about starting training without the back-up of a year's training but I am also very excited.

Alice Chambers, trainee teacher
Alice Chambers believes she is up to the job
"I think there is a lot to be said for jumping in at the deep end.

"The first two weeks are going to be a huge and very steep learning curve but I do feel that they wouldn't have taken me on if they did not feel that I could take the challenge on."

Speaking after the first day of formal induction training at the school, she said: "We have basically gone through right from the very basics of teaching and today is designed to get us through those first two weeks."


I would not dream of appointing a teacher who was not up to the job

Alan Roach
Head teacher
She admitted the teacher shortage meant the school was "desperate for people", but said: "I have been reassured that I am being taken on for my qualities and my potential as a teacher rather than to fill a gap."

'Dire consequences'

Alan Roach, head teacher at Chalvedon, denied standards had slipped in the push to fill vacancies.

He said: "When we say that we are desperate, we have to get those places filled because the children arrive at the start of term.

"We want the very best of teachers and that is what I have got. When I appointed Alice and the other graduate trainees, I made sure they were up to the job.

Alan Roach, head teacher at Chalvedon School
Alan Roach denies standards have been compromised
"These people have a sound knowledge of their subject, what we need to do is to give them a proper induction."

He said many of the trainees had started early, working in classrooms and summer schools during the holiday.

Mr Roach said: "I would not dream of appointing a teacher who was not up to the job. But if any of my colleagues have done that then the consequences for their pupils would be dire."


Talking PointTALKING POINT
Job for life?
Why don't people want to be teachers?
See also:

31 Aug 01 | UK Education
28 Aug 01 | UK Education
30 Aug 01 | UK Education
28 Aug 01 | UK Education
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