STUDENTS are being wooed into teaching by bursaries of up to £30,000 in a bid to meet the chronic shortage of expertise in key subjects, a special open event heard.
A baby boom, coupled with fewer university graduates, is leaving schools across the region struggling to find teachers, particularly in subjects such as physics, maths and chemistry.
Carmel College’s Initial Teacher Training (ITT) took the initiative by arranging special open events in Darlington, Newcastle and Middlesbrough to attract new blood.
Scores of would-be teachers attended the first event in Darlington where they were told by Inglby Barwick head teacher and consultant with DFE and the National College for Teaching and Leadership Paul Bramley: “Teaching is a brilliant job.
“We could put teacher after teacher in front of you and they would say exactly the same thing. It is a tough job and there is a lot involved but the rewards are absolutely massive. It’s the best job in the world because you can make a difference to the lives of countless children and their families.”
Mr Bramley and his colleague, Hartlepool head teacher Andrew Brown, advised on the best way to enter teaching highlighting there were scholarships and bursaries available of up to £30,000 a year for physics trainees.
The audience also had the chance to quiz current Carmel College ITT trainees about their experiences.
Gemma Castledine, of Burnhope, who is completing her training at St Bennet’s Primary School, Ouston, said: “I am loving it. It is hard work and tiring but so rewarding when you see the children’s faces light up with understanding.”
The events have been organised by the Carmel Teacher Training Partnership, which involves primary and secondary schools from across the region. The programme currently places 129 trainees in schools in Middlesbrough, Stockton, Durham, Newcastle, Gateshead, Northumberland and Darlington.
Carmel College ITT lead Sara Crawshaw said she was thrilled with the turnout to the first event and the level of interest shown in the profession by those who attended.
“It is absolutely crucial to the future success of the whole region that we secure the highest possible standards in teaching and learning to ensure students of all abilities have the most rewarding school life,” she said.
“Teaching is a vocation and our trainees are incredibly committed and talented with 98 per cent walking straight into jobs.
“The impact on the community and the local economy of education is phenomenal as it provides the skills young people need to thrive in a competitive world. Schools are at the very heart of the region and teachers make a huge difference to the lives of students and their families.”
Supported by the National College for Teaching and Learning, the Thinking About Teaching sessions will be staged next in Middlesbrough, at The Curial Office, The Avenue, Linthorpe, from 6pm to 8pm, on January 26.
The final session will be held in Newcastle at St Cuthbert’s House, from 6pm to 8pm on February 3.
Anyone interested, from any faith or none, is invited to turn up on the evening to find out more about primary and secondary teaching.