23 September 2014
Six new teachers have officially joined the profession after completing the Jersey Graduate Teacher Training Programme (JGTTP), a scheme that enabled them to retrain on-island for their new career.
The JGTTP was set up in 2005 for Jersey residents who are interested in the profession but would find it difficult to go to a UK university for teacher training. Fifty-six teachers have completed the course since it began and are now working in a range of local secondary schools.
One of this year’s successful graduates is Carly Lockhart, a former JEP journalist, who studied for an undergraduate degree in English at the University of Exeter. She was a reporter and sub editor for seven years and now teaches English at Le Rocquier School.
Ms Lockhart said “I had earned a place on a PGCE (post graduate certificate in education) course at one of the top universities for teacher training, but turned it down when I made it on to the Jersey Graduate Teacher Training Programme. I never saw myself teaching elsewhere so being able to train in Jersey meant I could really understand the Island's education system.
“I undertook my placements at Le Rocquier School and Jersey College for Girls so was able to teach 11-year-olds up to 18-year-olds and get experience at different local schools. I had a lot of support during my training year, with mentors at both schools to give me practical advice as well as weekly courses at Highlands College and visits from tutors at the University of London's Institute of Education.
“Training to be a teacher is hard enough without having to move away from home and worry about the financial aspects of a post-graduate course. The JGTTP gets rid of that extra stress so you can focus on the things that matter. I’ve had much more in-school training compared to friends who have done a PGCE teaching course at university, so I feel more equipped to deal with the challenges I now face in my first year.”
Potential teachers for all subjects are considered, although priority is given to key areas of the curriculum such as maths, English and science where there may be a shortage of staff. The JGTTP is open to islanders who already have a degree.
Course co-ordinator Helen Frost said “The training usually takes place over one academic year with placements in two secondary schools. The majority of the time is spent in front of a class and trainees are supported by mentors who are experienced, senior members of staff. It can be a challenging year but at the end of the programme people are ready to start a new career where their skills can really make a difference to young people’s lives.”
ESC Minister Deputy Patrick Ryan said “There are many talented graduates in the Jersey workforce who have the potential to transfer to teaching and become an asset in our schools. This course has proved to be extremely valuable because it gives us access to a pool of interesting candidates who have a range of experience and skills. From the graduates’ point of view it is a unique opportunity to change careers and enter an important and rewarding profession.”