THE FIRST GROUP of teachers from the new Distance Learning Initial Teacher Education (DLITE) programme have graduated and received their certificates.
Six new teachers studied through the 18-month programme run by Aberdeen University which allows them to study on a part-time basis while still undertaking other paid employment.
Of the half dozen awarded certificates from Laurence Findlay, Moray’s education director, four are already council employees who took the opportunity to retrain in the teaching profession.
Kirsty Dunlop, Toni-Michelle Lee, Tracey Lees and Hazel McLeod completed the course alongside their regular jobs with the council – a challenge they all agreed has been worth it. Hazel said: “We might have a few more wrinkles but we’re all still smiling!”
Lorraine Parr is a former classroom assistant for Moray Council and Pauliina Johnston worked in farming before making the career switch. Toni-Michelle, who was head of business engagement for Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce, can’t wait to get into the classroom.
She said: “I moved to Moray from Edinburgh because I decided to get out of the rat race. Now I’m going to be teaching Primary 2 at Hythehill in Lossiemouth – changing the lives of young people is what I’m most looking forward to.”
Laurence is thrilled that more than two thirds of the DLITE graduates in Moray are current or former council employees.
He commented: “Given the current shortage of teachers we’re facing in Moray, we’re looking at attracting more people into the job that may not have considered it before. This group of graduates has Moray Council staff who’ve worked in health and social care, education and benefits.
“The DLITE programme has given them the opportunity to remain in employment while forging a new career in teaching. I couldn’t be happier for them.”
Applications for next year’s DLITE course close on Friday 18 August, more can be found at www.moray.gov.uk/dlite.