03 May 2012 15:09:01.870
British servicemen and women who are leaving or have left the forces within the last two years are being offered the chance to bring their unique skills into the classroom and train as teachers at The University of Nottingham.
The University’s School of Education will provide extra places from September 2012 as part of its established and highly successful Graduate Teacher Programme (GTP). The School has developed a course which is tailor-made for graduates who have served in the Army, Navy and Royal Air Force.
The new Troops to Teachers course is part of a government scheme which pledged a package of support for ex-military personnel wanting to retrain as teachers when they leave the forces. It was prompted by a similar scheme in America which showed that ex-servicemen and women are proving to be excellent teachers, particularly in high-poverty areas and in high-demand subjects such as modern languages, mathematics and science.
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‘Best possible start’
Course leader Dr Lindsey Smethem, said: “We have experience every year of working with small numbers of service leavers and understand the particular issues they may encounter. It is an exciting opportunity for us to work with a cohort of servicemen and women as they embark on their new careers. Our programme, rated outstanding by Ofsted, is well placed to support them to make the best possible start in teaching“
Neil Lamont, 44, a former Wing Commander in the Royal Air Force is a current GTP student at The University of Nottingham. He said: "The Graduate Training Programme sounded exactly the right approach to suit me. I already had experience of teaching, my military career has given me a huge amount of experience of standing in front of people and public speaking, therefore the GTP gave me the route to go straight into a school and start learning the art of teaching to children straight away. It really appealed to me".
There are seven salary-funded places available at the University starting at the end of August in the subject areas of chemistry, modern languages, maths and physics. The GTP is an employment-based route to achieving Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and is a one-year post-graduate qualification. Successful candidates will be employed by a school in a supernumary capacity on Grade 1 of the unqualified teacher scale, currently a salary of £15,781. Tuition fees payable by the trainees are £3790; the government also contributes £5210 towards the tuition fee.
Although based in a secondary school, candidates get one training day each week at The University of Nottingham including expert subject specific and generic training, networking and collaboration with 36 other GTP trainees, tailored pastoral support to address issues involved in making the transition from the armed services to teaching, an experienced university tutor and the chance to gain a PGCE and progress to a Masters degree as a qualified teacher.
The American experience
A study of the Troops to Teachers (T3) programme in the United States found that:
over 90 per cent of head teachers reported that T3 teachers are more effective in the classroom and have a more positive impact on student achievement than traditionally prepared teachers.
Despite the drop in pay when becoming a teacher, retention is very high: 88% of those T3 who qualified in 2002 were still teaching three years later.
Most T3 teachers are male (82 per cent) compared to traditionally trained teachers of which only 18 per cent are male.
T3 participants are well qualified: nearly two-thirds (62 per cent) of Troops teachers hold a Masters degree or higher degree; 37 percent of have a bachelor’s degree as their highest qualification.
More information on the Troops to Teachers GTP course at The University of Nottingham, including entry requirements and details on how to apply can be found at www/education/prospective/teachertraining/troops-to-teachers-.aspx
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