Plans to place teaching interns into classrooms


Unions fear that a national scheme to place teaching interns into classrooms will be used as a cost-cutting device, reports Schools Week.

The graduate teaching internship (GTi) scheme plans to give potential teachers the experience of working in a school for between one and three terms before they embark on an initial teacher training (ITT) course.

But with salaries equal to the minimum for support staff, unions say they are worried about the use of cheap alternatives to teaching assistants.

Jon Richards, head of education at Unison, said: “Any initiative to improve teacher recruitment should be examined. But in times of squeezed budgets we wouldn’t want to see schools use interns as cheap replacements for teaching assistants.”

The deployment of interns would be down to each institution, but the company running the scheme,TryTeaching, said it would give interns a 'broad experience'. It encourages schools to give them one-to-one pupil support, co-teaching and literacy and numeracy coaching.

Schools taking part in the scheme will pay TryTeaching up to £2,100 to recruit and support each intern, and then pay a salary via the company.

Nick Breakwell, the founder of TryTeaching, said salaries would be agreed at a minimum of what support staff receive – £13,614 a year, according to the local government payscale, and that the intern scheme would help to improve recruitment and reduce teachers’ leaving rates as trainees would be better prepared.

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