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Thursday, March 11, 1999 Published at 14:03 GMT


University offers 'warranty' on new teachers

In the UK, there is an induction year to support new teachers

A Californian university is offering a 'warranty' on students graduating from its teacher training course.

California State University in Long Beach is to support its teacher training graduates for their first year in the classroom - rather than ending links when students complete courses.

If schools or education authorities find there are problems with newly-qualified teachers from California State, the university's College of Education will offer assistance, including extra training.

[ image: Before the hurly burly: California State's Long Beach campus]
Before the hurly burly: California State's Long Beach campus
"The process of teacher education should extend to when new teachers stand in front of classrooms filled with their own students," said the university's president, Robert Maxson. 

"We know that some very promising new teachers have abandoned this profession because of  problems that occur early in their careers. It's a serious loss when such talented people make an early decision to leave the classroom."

The 'warranty of support', which will apply to students graduating in this academic year, follows calls for a greater level of support for new teachers.

In his State of American Education address, earlier this year, the US Education Secretary, Richard Riley, spoke of the need to find ways to help newly-qualified teachers who were struggling.

[ image: Education Secretary Riley wants more support for new teachers]
Education Secretary Riley wants more support for new teachers
There are school districts, Secretary Riley said, "that are throwing a warm body into a classroom, closing the door and hoping for the best. That is not the way to reach high standards."

In the United Kingdom, the Teacher Training Agency says there are no current plans for a similar extension of the responsibility of teacher training colleges beyond graduation.

A spokeswoman said that a great emphasis was placed on preparing new teachers for the classroom and that there were already arrangements in place to tackle any problems for newly-qualified teachers in their first year.

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