‘Overwhelmed’ by calibre of trainees

RECRUITMENT DRIVE There is a new focus on recruiting teachers for secondary schools in Portsmouth
RECRUITMENT DRIVE There is a new focus on recruiting teachers for secondary schools in Portsmouth

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Lynn Nicholls, school direct and initial teacher trainer lead at Mary Rose Academy, talks about the drive to recruit more teachers

Portsmouth Teaching School Alliance has had a successful round of interviews for its school direct teacher training places starting in September.

Brenda Schouller, headteacher at St Paul’s RC in Cosham and Anna Webb, headteacher at Newbridge Junior School Portsmouth, said they were overwhelmed by the standard and calibre of trainee teachers.

Each head was so impressed that they have both committed to support two school direct trainees in their schools.

It is exciting to have such strong candidates like these who, within a year, will be fully trained and help address the teacher shortages in Portsmouth.

Following the success of our primary recruitment, we are now focusing on high quality graduates who want to train as a secondary maths and science teacher.

Anna Webb at Newbridge Junior said: ‘The process of interviewing school direct candidates enabled me to have first-hand view of their teaching abilities, the rapport they had with pupils, and their ability to cope in a classroom situation.

‘Being able to discover more about their previous work experiences allowed me to see how they may be of benefit to my school.

‘It has also given me the opportunity to ‘hand-pick’ the students that I feel would have the strengths to enhance teaching and learning at my school.’

The Department for Education are offering a range of bursaries and scholarships for high quality secondary maths and science graduates worth up to £30,000 tax-free.

Cllr Neill Young, cabinet member for children and education, said: ‘Attracting high calibre teachers to come and work in the city’s schools is one of our priorities so any initiatives to promote the opportunities to teach in Portsmouth are welcome.

‘By becoming a teacher you could make a difference to young people’s lives and we have openings at schools across the city.’

The Portsmouth Teaching School has also just been awarded funding to support qualified teachers back into teaching. The support returning teachers project is offering free training to recruit ex English, maths, science, history and geography teachers back to teaching in local secondary schools.

Further information is available at the Portsmouth Teaching School Alliance’s event on January 13 from 5pm-7pm. Contact info@portsmouthtsa.org. The Teach Portsmouth recruitment fair is on January 16. To register your interest go to teachportsmouth.co.uk.