Aberdeenshire Council wins national award

An innovative initiative run by Aberdeenshire Council encouraging people to become teachers has received a prestigious award.

The Council’s Education and Children’s Services won the Scottish Government’s Excellence Award at the COSLA Excellence Awards 2017 for its Distance Learning Initial Teacher Education (DLITE) programme.  It allows people to continue to work whilst studying for a postgraduate teaching qualification (PGDE).

Feedback from the judges said: “[DLITE] clearly identified the rationale and that there was a significant issue. [There was] clear detail about how the project was planned and delivered.”

Aberdeenshire Council’s Education and Children’s Services Chair, Cllr Gillian Owen, said: “It is fantastic that Aberdeenshire Council has received national recognition for the creative approach it has taken to attracting new recruits to the teaching profession.

“One of the hallmarks of this success has been the fact that up to 20 new recruits have joined the teaching profession each year.

“The national shortage of teachers is never far away from the spot light but initiatives such as the DLITE programme demonstrate we are working imaginatively, collaboratively as well as hard to address the issue.”

Cllr Mark Findlater, Committee Vice-Chair, said: “Aberdeenshire Council has taken a variety of innovative approaches to attract new teachers. These initiatives include persuading teachers from Canada and Ireland to relocate to Aberdeenshire and encouraging those working in the oil industry who were made redundant to consider a career in teaching.

“The DLITE programme has been hugely successful as it has been rolled out to include primary and secondary schools and residents of Aberdeenshire as well as council employees. I would like to thank all of the innovative officers and staff who made DLITE happen. They are a great example to us all at Aberdeenshire Council to think outside of the box in solving problems in these challenging times.”

The DLITE programme was established in 2013 following a report by the Scottish Government encouraging universities to make it easier for people to become teachers by offering part-time and distance learning courses.

The overall winners of the COSLA Awards for Excellence 2017 were announced at an awards ceremony on Thursday, October 5 2017.

For more information please visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TWfNamiqYos.