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Top marks for locally trained teachers 21 July 2009

THE first cohort of locally trained primary school teachers has received praise from tutors and examiners at the end of its year-long course.

The Isle of Man College has delivered a full Professional Graduate Certificate of Education qualification for the first time. Until the course became available, trainee teachers had to travel to the UK in order to gain the qualification, which effectively disqualified Manx residents who had family and other commitments.

The University of Chester's Awards Assessment Board has confirmed that 11 trainees have obtained the full qualification of Professional Graduate Certificate in Education with Manx Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), while one has gained a Graduate Certificate in Education. PGCE

The full qualification requires trainees to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of educational theory as it relates to teaching in primary schools and to do well in teaching practice placements in two schools. The Graduate Certificate in Education is an exit point within the programme, based on passing the academic modules only, and does not include QTS.

Maggie Young, programme co-ordinator, said:

‘Both the link tutor from the University of Chester and the external examiner were complimentary about the management and delivery of the first year of the new programme and also about the enthusiasm, commitment and quality of the trainees.’

The examiner felt one of the strengths of the course was the goodwill extended by schools to trainees, adding: ‘Trainees see the course as a very good preparation for teaching and are adamant in their praise of the school mentors.’ Schools were ‘clearly enriched’ by their participation in the programme, he added. Experienced headteachers, deputy headteachers and senior staff delivered facets of the programme, said Ms Young.

‘Their knowledge is sound and current and they are well placed to deliver information on newly emerging initiatives, so trainees benefited from this. The trainees have been complimentary about the high quality of the teaching they have received.’

Howard Green, programme leader, said:

’There is a benefit to both mentors and teachers through their involvement in the programme in the form of their own professional development and the resulting enhanced opportunities for promotion, which has already occurred for some in recent months.
‘There are therefore mutual advantages to be gained within primary education as a result of the growing network of those involved in training primary school teachers for employment in the Island's schools.’

Mr Green said it was encouraging that several of the trainees had secured Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT) teaching positions from September, while others had been accepted on to the supply list while they await vacancies to apply for. There is a high level of interest in the programme and the 15 places on the 2009/2010 course were filled in April.

Anyone interested in applying for the programme starting in September 2010 is invited to contact Lynne Murphy, the Isle of Man College’s HE Administrator – lynne.murphy@iomcollege.ac.im – from September onwards for an information sheet and application form.

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