BY Daniel Harkins | June 1 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print

1-SCHOOL

Government-backed scheme gives boost to Catholic teacher numbers

Scotland will soon have hundreds more qualified Catholic teachers after the University of Glasgow secured funding from the Scottish Government to expand their postgraduate diploma programme.

The St Andrew’s Foundation for Catholic Teacher Education at the University has sole responsibility for educating Catholic teachers in ­Scotland. In 2016, the university began offering its Catholic Teacher’s Certificate in Religious Education at the University of Edinburgh and the ­University of Strathclyde, and this academic year added the University of Aberdeen to its list.

The university have now revealed that 110 teachers qualified in the last academic year via the course, with the same number set to complete the programme this year.

The course, which is provided by Glasgow University staff for ­students at the other universities, comes at no cost and provides post-graduates who wish to enter teaching with the qualifications necessary to teach RE.

The government announced they will invest £127,000 in the Catholic teacher Education Programme this year – up from £28,000 last year.

“This is something every teacher in a Catholic primary school should have,” Dr Roisín Coll, director of the St Andrew’s Foundation, said of the certificate.
Scotland, has been struggling with a shortage of Catholic teachers for years, with Archbishop Philip Tartaglia of Glasgow warning of ‘significant consequences’ if more teachers could not be found.

Dr Roisín Coll said: “We are certainly on our way and making a significant contribution,” she said. “The bishops are all behind this and the head of the school of education Professor Trevor Gale has been ­particularly supportive. Bishop Hugh Gilbert and the Diocese of Aberdeen have been absolutely incredible in offering additional pastoral support to teachers studying there.”

The university also offers the Catholic Teacher’s Certificate via a distance learning course—which attracts overseas students, including those from Ireland and Norway—and has taken over the running of the ‘Setting Out on the Road’ course from the Scottish Catholic Education Service (SCES). ‘Setting Out on the Road’ offers the Catholic Teacher’s Certificate to current teachers.

— For more information on the Catholic Teacher’s Certificate contact Dr Roisín Coll: roisin.coll@glasgow.ac.uk

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