A message from a partnership colleague:
I actually graduated from a PGCE course run by the University of Reading back in 2008. In those days, teaching was considered to be an “attractive” job, with huge competition to interview for a PGCE course, let alone actually be awarded the opportunity to study on one. Even then, I know the University found placing students difficult. I was lucky: I had three varied, exciting and ultimately career-making placements that I still look back on with fond memories.
One of the main reasons the placements were so successful is because the schools showed an interest in my development. They wanted me to become part of their school’s fabric, even just for a few weeks. I actually ended up with a job in my last placement school, spending five very enjoyable years there before developing my career elsewhere.
With teaching the way it is currently, the need for students to “learn the trade” is even more vital. With record numbers of established and newly qualified teachers leaving the profession, we now more than ever need fresh faces, enthusiasm and ultimately, commitment to enter the profession.
As a Deputy Head working in a challenging area, I know the situations that schools face daily. We have been able to take on students from a variety of courses in the last few years and I hope that, in some small way, we’ve helped them along the way to qualify as ECT’s. In addition, we’ve also been able to develop our existing staff by making them mentors for the students we take on, embedding their leadership and management skills.
The support programme that the University of Reading offers is excellent, with induction very thorough and contact all the way through the placement. If you and your school are able to help in any way with placements, I know the tutors at the University would greatly appreciate hearing from you.
You never know, you may even be able to recruit the student full time at the end of their course!
Mr Ben Thomas
If you would like to find out more about offering placements to our students on Initial Teacher Education programmes, please contact IoE School Placements