Teaching the way to a brighter future - University expertise and local schools work together to raise the aspirations of our young people
(20 November 2006)
A local university has been awarded a substantial grant by a government agency to help find the next generation of talented teachers and raise the aspirations of school children in the North East.
Durham University has received a total of £83,700 to fund 62 student placements within 20 local schools. The Student Associate Scheme has been designed to encourage students in the region’s universities to consider teaching as a career option; Durham University’s scheme is part of a consortium with the universities of Teesside and Sunderland. Over the next six months, undergraduate students will be working with young people in both primary and secondary schools to raise attainment and social aspirations, as well as providing teaching support and developing extra curricular activities. Durham University’s Rhianne Jones and Chris Carling from Durham Children and Young People’s Services, have jointly coordinated the scheme and hope that the programme will go from strength-to-strength. Rhianne said: “Durham University is playing a significant role in the development of our regional talent. All our students have been chosen for their potential to make an impact on young people in schools. We hope that with the help of the students and the teaching staff within the schools, we can further raise the aspirations of the young people and help them to fulfil their true potential. “The North East has some excellent teachers who work very hard to help young people realise their dreams. Through this programme we hope to educate our university students that a career teaching is both rewarding and stimulating.” The undergraduate students have been sourced from a range of degree backgrounds with a particular emphasis on sciences. Their aim is to widen access in higher education and priority subjects in the curriculum, including Maths, Physics and Chemistry. During the course of their placements, student activities will range from one-to-one tutoring, development of teaching materials to homework clubs and extra-curricular activities. To prepare the students for their placements, they will be undergoing 15 hours of high quality training at the standard of initial teacher training courses. Durham University’s volunteer work within the community has just received national recognition after being short-listed at the Higher Education Active Community Fund Volunteering Awards. From over 1000 entries, Durham’s Student Community Action Team and Katie Mackay have been short-listed, with the results expected in December. The Student Associates Scheme places students in schools in England and is funded by the Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA). In County Durham the scheme is administered by the Undergraduate Admissions Office, Durham Children and Young People’s Services and Collingwood College working in partnership.