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This month the Canons Park Teaching School Alliance was successful in obtaining further funding for the Flexible School Direct Salaried programme.

The funding via NCTL is aimed at targetting high quality speacialst career changers to teaching.

We aim to carry out research using the 2 Research Advocates in the Alliance to consider the factors/ barriers to entering teaching for those considering a career change, this research will inform the key messages we need to deliver and the support required for reaching these groups. We believe the flexibility of the model we offer and in particular reducing or extending the timescales for training, but with careful support for making the initial transition, should suit career changers. We believe that shorter training periods linked to access to salary and wider support (for example child care) will provide some levers to turn interested candidates into places. The model also looks to incorporate and value the skills that people bring from their previous careers.

Canons Park TSA is already using different recruitment methods to source Harrow First candidates for September 2015, this model involves the recruitment of mature graduates in their final year of degrees and graduates looking to change careers, through direct advertising and is designed to work with post-graduate links such as Hertfordshire University’s graduate alumni association. As well as responding to emergent recruitment needs, Harrow First looks to prioritise the recruitment of high quality English, Physics and Maths teachers via a wider network of organisations and contacts like the Brilliant Club, ‘Researchers in Schools’, careers services at key local Higher Education institutions, careers fairs and social media. We would look to use a similarly targeted network and online model to access candidates considering a career change to recruit to this new cohort, Harrow First Options (HFO) adapted to reflect the result of the research we undertake.

The alliance has worked with the University of Hertfordshire to develop recruitment processes, training programmes and evaluation mechanisms for the ‘Harrow First’ School Direct programme.  The inclusion of a further education college in the alliance gives a unique opportunity for trainees to develop vocational teaching skills within appropriate settings.

The model will look to be flexible and match candidate needs, by providing elements of on-line delivery, financial and wider support (accommodation, childcare, personal mentors). The flexibility would mean that candidates are able to select training which suits them but does not impact on the quality of training given or the final outcome they achieve.

If you might be interested in this, contact Leah McCormick on

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