The government’s flagship Teaching Schools are identifying youngsters as future teachers, as part of a plan to plug gaps in the teaching workforce.
In 2012 the Education Select Committee recommended that the government should develop an internship system to allow youngsters to experience teaching; pupils should have taster sessions which include actual teaching, rather than just observing lessons.
Now Teaching Schools are running talent-spotting sessions in which pupils are marked out as future teachers, the Telegraph reports.
The scheme is identifying pupils with the aptitudes for teaching, including expertise in shortage subjects such as science and maths, good presentation skills and leadership potential. Some youngsters are being encouraged to improve their skills by tutoring children in primary schools and, when they reach the sixth form, taking part in formal ‘get into teaching’ sessions.
Teaching Schools are emphasising the importance of spotting future teachers in areas with recruitment problems. Charlie Taylor from the National College for Teaching and Leadership said: “I was talking to schools from Skegness and Cleethorpes the other day who said they knew they are going to have to recruit from their own area. So what they are doing is, from an early age, beginning to tap up people with talent and say ‘look, go away to university but stay in touch with us; we would love to get you back to do a training programme’.”
Ashton on Mersey School in Cheshire, a Teaching School, is already sending GCSE pupils to teach ICT in local primary schools and developing its sixth-formers’ teaching capabilities. “It is about developing the characteristics that make really good teachers and cultivating that and making sure that there’s a seed planted at an early age – probably at 14 – around them thinking that it’s a good career aspiration to be a teacher,” said its executive principal Vicky Beer.
Do you think talent-spotting pupils as young as 14 is the best way to attract potential teachers? Share your views with the Eteach community!