September 2014: School-based training for future teachers

NINE future teachers are now completing their training and getting classroom experience at Haslingden High School.

The school-based teacher training route will lead to a Post Graduate Certificate in Education awarded by the University of Cumbria.

The school tested the School Direct programme last year with two trainees and it was such a success nine people, from a variety of backgrounds, are on this year’s course.

Former head girl Kayley Graham has returned to her ‘old school’ to train as an English teacher after completing her degree at Edge Hill University.

“I always wanted to come back,” she said. “It is like being a part of a big family at Haslingden High School; there is a lovely community spirit and a lovely atmosphere.”

She is joined on the course by Jamie Pilling who is training to be a PE teacher after completing his degree at UCLAN.

He said: “This is always something I wanted to do and I was a coach at local cricket and football teams and that gave me experience of teaching.”

His first placement is in the PE department at All Saints Catholic Language College in Rawtenstall.

The course is an alternative to the traditional PGCE, which is one-year university-based course.

Haslingden High School delivers the training in partnership with the University of Cumbria and the trainee teachers spend 13 days at the university’s Lancaster base. The rest of the time is in the classroom or training at Haslingden High School.

Trainees undertake two different placements in schools within the alliance and attend conference days every Friday.

Assistant Head and programme leader Sally Finney said: “We are a lead school for the Pennine Lancashire Alliance.

“We get leading practitioners from across the partner schools to come and deliver sessions on particular educational topics. They also get to observe in classrooms and gradually build up their teaching experience.

“Unlike if they were studying at university, they have been able to go into classrooms from day one and see how a teacher works with students from the first time they meet.”

For Harry Colson the move to teaching follows 12 years working on journals for universities. He had three degrees including a PhD in physics and is training to be a physics teacher.

“I started to volunteer for a local Scout group and I just wanted a career change,” he said.

“I enjoyed working with children and wanted to use more of my science background.”

Fiona Wrigley’s graphic design degree will lead her to becoming an art and design teacher.

“I have done a year as an art technician in a school and I wanted to get experience of teaching and with this course being school based it appealed to me,” she said.

The first educational session was delivered by Jason Bangbala, an Educational Consultant, who described the would-be teachers as ‘motivated and enthusiastic’.

A further course will start in September 2015. To inquire about places email