Trainee teachers go to School Direct for in-house training

Tuesday 7 October 2014

WEB WRA traineesLinguist Dan Evans decided that his future lay in teaching whilst he was working as an English language assistant in a school in Germany during his degree course.

Dan loved being immersed in school life during his year abroad so the innovative new School Direct route, which places trainees in schools from the start, was the perfect way for him to work towards his teaching qualification. Dan is one of the first cohort of five trainee teachers recruited by the White Rose Alliance (WRA), a partnership of Yorkshire schools including The Grammar School at Leeds (GSAL), that will select and train prospective teachers under the School Direct model.

As well as training to teach German and French, Dan is keen to get involved with activities outside the classroom. He said: “School Direct with White Rose Alliance means that as teaching trainees we have got stuck in right from the start. Each trainee is attached to a pastoral group and takes part in extra-curricular activities – this interaction with students outside lessons is a massive part of being a teacher.”

King James’s School, Knaresborough, is the lead school in the WRA, and works in partnership with GSAL, Allerton Grange School, Thirsk School and Sixth Form College, Stokesley School and the University of Leeds which accredits the programme.

The trainees were hand-picked by WRA schools through a rigorous selection process, and will spend time on placement in two of the five schools. They will also come together regularly for professional and educational studies at King James’s, school experience days at all partner schools and seminars at the University of Leeds. The university will award a PGCE with qualified teacher status to those who successfully complete the programme.

Margaret Newsome, White Rose Alliance coordinator, said: “The first cohort has made an excellent start because of the programme we’ve set up and the strong bond we formed with the trainees even before term began. We’ve had a lot of input into the recruitment and induction process and will have continual contact throughout the year with trainees, who benefit from the varied school contexts we can provide. We hope that at the end of the course there will be employment for them within the partner schools.”

Dan concludes: “Each school in the alliance has something unique to offer, providing us with lots of different experience that will stand us in good stead when we apply for a first teaching post.”

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