Teachers back new recruitment drive

Hayley Richards retrained as a Business Studies teacher at Portobello
Hayley Richards retrained as a Business Studies teacher at Portobello
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A NUMBER of teachers at Edinburgh schools have given their support to a new campaign to get more university graduates into the profession.

The Scottish Government’s “Teaching Makes People’ recruitment drive is currently targeting undergraduates studying English and home economics subjects to consider retraining.

The campaign began last February and focused on those studying and working in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) careers.

Now, teachers at both Portobello High School and Leith Academy who were recruited during the scheme have encouraged others to sign up.

Hayley Richards, who retrained as a Business Studies teacher at Portobello, said the career change was “rewarding” and encouraged others to take the chance.

She added: “If you’re interested in teaching, my advice would be go for it but be prepared for the hard work.”

“The role requires a lot of dedication but the rewards do outweigh any negatives.

“One of the main things you need in order to achieve this is enthusiasm. You have to be enthusiastic about the subject you teach in order for pupils to be enthusiastic about it too.

“There is no greater benefit of teaching than seeing pupils progress to achieve their goals and aspirations.”

The second phase of the campaign, which went live on September 4, comes off the back of a successful launch which helped drive a 19 per cent increase in PGDE student intakes to Scottish universities compared to the previous year.

The scheme also promoted a significant increase in interest among undergraduates in teaching as a career, according to figures released as part of a Scottish government study.

Natalie Finlayson, now a biology teacher at Leith Academy, said the job “challenged” her and “every day was different”, adding: “When the pupils see how passionate you are about your subject then they start to care too. I don’t think that at any point I’ve taught the same lesson twice.”

“Even though you’re teaching the same curriculum every year, it doesn’t mean you have to teach it the same way.

“It’s exciting that every day is different and working with young people can be challenging but I think that’s a good thing.”

Launching the new phase of the campaign, Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: “Thousands more undergraduate students are seriously considering teaching as a career as a direct result of the first phase of our campaign.”

“We want to build on that momentum and reach even more people who may not have considered it as an option, with a particular focus on STEM, English and home economics.”