The University of Brighton has today (Wednesday, February 11) been chosen by the government to lead the expansion of a scheme that encourages former soldiers and other service personnel to train as teachers.
It has won the tender for the extended Troops to Teachers programme and will deliver the partnership with selected higher education institutions and schools across the country.
The expansion means a further two cohorts of trainees will begin their employment-based teacher training in September 2015 and September 2016 respectively.
Making the announcement, education secretary Nicky Morgan said: “As part of our plan for education we need excellent teachers in every classroom to prepare children for life in modern Britain.
“At a visit to a recent study week, I was able to see for myself the high calibre of the current trainees and the wealth of skills they can bring to teaching, including leadership, teamwork, resilience and the ability to inspire and engage.”
The University of Brighton is part of a consortium of universities that delivered the teacher training scheme in the first waves which started in January 2014.
Vice-chancellor Professor Julian Crampton said it was delighted to have been chosen to lead the expansion and added: “Career changers make an essential contribution to the teaching profession and this unique route into teaching allows trainees to benefit from the best combination of employment-based and blended learning experiences that exceed the capabilities of traditional on-site training.”
The expansion of the scheme follows feedback from headteachers on the positive impact trainees from the first two cohorts are already having in their schools.
ISCA Academy executive principal, Beverley Martin, said: “It’s helped us strengthen some of our teams with high-quality trainees in shortage subjects like computer science and maths. Our Troops to Teachers trainees have proved themselves adaptable, flexible and passionate about teaching and learning.”
The scheme is aimed at those who leave the services without degrees. Inspired by a similar programme in the US, it offers two years of school-based training, leading to qualified teacher status and a foundation degree.
Trainees are employed by their delivery school and receive a minimum of 80 per cent of point one of the unqualified teachers’ pay scale, which is currently £12,908.80.