An initiative which aims to help people achieve their aspirations of becoming teachers via flexible learning while working full time will welcome its second intake of students this week (Saturday February 7).
The University of Aberdeen, in partnership with Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire and Highland Councils, will launch the second intake for Distance Learning Initial Teacher Education (DLITE) Post Graduate Diploma in Education PGDE. DLITE, which is funded by the Scottish Government, is a pioneering initiative which models a partnership approach to increasing the teaching workforce.
Forty graduate participants from the Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire and Highland Council areas will embark on an eighteen month distance and part-time learning PGDE programme designed to address widening access to Primary teacher education whilst seeking to help alleviate teacher shortage in particular local authority areas.
The DLITE PGDE initiative offers an innovative alternative route to initial teacher education whilst giving specific focus to creating opportunities for ‘home grown’ graduates to be supported within their home local authority to become qualified teachers.
Dr Yvonne Bain of the School of Education, who is leading the initiative said: “This has created an opportunity for staff in the School of Education and from the local authorities to jointly develop and deliver the DLITE PGDE programme, capitalising on their shared expertise and long history of successful partnership, to offer an effective part-time distance learning route to gaining a teaching qualification.”
Aberdeen City Council’s convener of Education and Children’s Services Committee Councillor Angela Taylor said: “The City Council is delighted to be working in partnership with the University of Aberdeen to increase the opportunities for local people to train as primary teachers via a part-time route while they continue to work or bring up their own children. There are 15 students from Aberdeen City due to start the Distance Learning Initial Teacher Education (DLITE) programme on Saturday 07 February 2015.”
Iain Bell, Lead Officer DLITE, Aberdeenshire Council said: “Aberdeenshire Council are delighted to be embarking on the DLITE programme with a second cohort of students. The DLITE programme is a key development in Aberdeenshire Council’s strategy to building a strong and diverse staffing base. The authority values the partnership model with the University of Aberdeen and other local authorities, and the opportunity this provides to enable talented and dedicated employees and residents to enter the teaching profession.”
Councillor Alasdair Christie, Chair of The Highland Council’s Education, Children and Adult Services Committee said: “This is great news that The Highland Council is continuing to build on its successful partnership with the University of Aberdeen through the next DLITE PGDE (Primary) which begins on February 07. The current course includes 16 student teachers living in the Highlands who will, following successful completion of their course in the summer of this year, begin their Induction year in Highland schools on August 17. This new innovative course is providing flexible, part time teacher education for local people many of whom will in the future be part of Highland’s teacher workforce.”
The DLITE students will engage in a full day of activities designed to get to know each other and to begin their academic and professional learning journey towards their new career as teachers.