New programme will help former teachers return to the classroom

Former teacher Ann Marie Pointer, who is looking at returning to the profession, with pupils at Thor

Former teacher Ann Marie Pointer, who is looking at returning to the profession, with pupils at Thorpe St Andrew School.PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY - Credit: SIMON FINLAY

Two Norfolk schools are joining forces to help ex-teachers back into the classroom, in a bid to tackle the growing recruitment crisis.

In an EDP survey last year, Norfolk heads said attracting high-quality candidates was the biggest challenge they were facing, and this week an EDP survey of teachers found 64pc were considering quitting in the next three years.

Thorpe St Andrew School and Sheringham Primary were already planning a joint programme to help potential returnees when they successfully applied to pilot the government's Return to Teaching scheme.

The first training day is next month, and aims to get teachers back to school in September.

Rob Brewster, of Sheringham Primary teaching school, said: 'It could be for people who have left the profession and feel they really miss it and want to get back into the classroom.

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'It's those people who had the glimpse of the idea of coming back.'

The programme includes two days of training and a five-day school placement, and aims to give people with a teaching qualification up-to-date classroom experience, knowledge of their subject and classroom practice, guidance on applying, and a network of similar people.

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The government offers full bursaries for high school teachers of English, maths, history, geography, physics, chemistry, biology and modern languages, while there are subsidised places for other subjects, and for primary school teachers.

Jan Gallon, assistant principal of Thorpe St Andrew School, is a returnee herself, having taught for four years before having a family and working in public relations.

She said: 'I felt that my business experience gave me a really good boost in terms of leadership, and I came back in a leadership post which I certainly would not have done previously.'

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