Deputy First Minister welcomes new trainee teachers

Deputy First Minister John Swinney addresses new trainee teachers at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall

Deputy First Minister John Swinney addressed the latest intake of trainee teachers at the University of Strathclyde recently.

An induction event held in Glasgow Royal Concert Hall on Friday 18 August was attended by nearly 1,000 students starting the Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) at Strathclyde next month.

Mr Swinney congratulated the audience on the commencement of their studies and answered questions before meeting students who are embarking on one of the 11 newly-accredited routes into teaching, including Strathclyde’s new PGDE with Masters route.

This entails a different course structure and will see the much needed science, technology and mathematics teachers fully qualified in a shorter time than on the traditional PGDE route.

National strategy

He  also took part in a short round-table discussion with Professor Ian Rivers on their proposed national strategy for teacher education in Scotland.

Mr Swinney said: “It is a pleasure to have the opportunity to speak directly to some of the newest intake of PGDE students as they embark on their journey towards becoming teachers.

“Teaching is a highly rewarding and inspiring career which offers the chance to make a positive difference to children’s lives and the Scottish Government is committed to increasing teacher numbers across the country. Strathclyde’s new route into teaching will help our plans to attract more people with the right skills and abilities to become teachers, without comprising quality.

“Our ambitions for Scotland’s education system are high and our newest trainee teachers will have an important part to play in realising those ambitions.

“I wish our new PGDE students every success for what I hope will be long and rewarding careers.”

The University of Strathclyde is the leading provider of teacher education in Scotland, and one of the largest in the UK, with the widest secondary subject choice in the country, including Home Economics, Psychology, RME, Art and Design, Technical Education, Music,  PE. Science subjects, Computing, Business Education, Maths, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, English, Modern Languages and all the Social Subjects.

All these can be studied through Gaelic medium. PGDE students spend 18 weeks on campus and 18 weeks in school. Most students, though not all, will find themselves in one of our nine partner local authorities.

Catherine Whitley, Director of School and Local Authority Partnership and PGDE course leader, said: “Each year we welcome a new cohort of trainee teachers to our PGDE course and this year we’re delighted the Deputy First Minister has taken time to attend our induction event to address the students.