Navigating The Alternative Route to Registration

Friday 28 October

Not needed in school today, so decided to review where I'd got to with clocking up the teaching days required for full registration, which is 270 if you're not on the
Teacher Induction Scheme . I've got the wrong personality for this sort of thing, so have been putting it off. I covered a Maths maternity vacancy from January 05 till the summer, and the original idea was to do a review when I moved to another school. As I'm still there, although now in Science, it never happened. A careful trawl through the diary showed I'm now over the 100 day mark. Maybe I should be celebrating milestones like that?

Decided to ring the
General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) in the afternoon to try to clarify what exactly is expected of me. You get a lot of very high-quality documentation as part of the registration process, but inevitably it's geared to the standard route, and the more you read it, the more things you realise aren't as tidy when you're on the
alternative supply-teaching route; things like numbers of observed lessons, number of interim reports, mentoring arrangements aren't prescribed.

Heather in the GTC's Probation Support office was very helpful, and spent a large chunk of her afternoon answering my endless questions. Clearly the thing to do is get reports in to the GTC after each chunk of work. They then know what experience you've gained – there's no other feedback system – then they can write to you with a "bank statement" to let you know how far they think you've got. It's certainly not a box-ticking system: there's clearly a careful check being made that only appropriate experience is counted. I can't remember when I last phoned up any organisation and got such a comprehensive and helpful response. The care taken over the whole process is impressive; as a parent, it's reassuring.

Had a look at the
SCRAN web site using a school logon. This is a huge resource, and will be a great help in getting good-quality images and much more for teaching purposes.

Here's an extract from their "About SCRAN" page:

Scran is part of the Scran Trust – a registered charity – whose aim is to provide educational access to digital materials representing our material culture and history. The learning resource service hosts over 300,000 images, movies and sounds from museums, galleries, archives and the media. It can be used generically – as a substitute for clip art – or for particular learning applications. So, if you need a picture of a tiger, Charlie Chaplin, Sean Connery, a Degas, a Dali, images of war or whaling, standing stones, a pint of beer, an integrated circuit, or line drawings of an acorn or an adrenal gland – to name a few – try Scran first. In addition, the educational environment supports 3,000 learning Pathfinder Packs for your instant use; and there are tools such as Navigator, Stuff, Create and Albums to let you locate, keep, design and assemble your own learning resources. A quick poster or worksheet is just a couple of clicks from any image and an instant printed page or mini website are equally easy to produce from a Pathfinder Pack.