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Highland students graduate in teacher training

Issued: 30 Jun 2010

Eighteen Highland students graduated through the University of Aberdeen
this week at a ceremony held in the Town House, Inverness.

Celebrating their qualifications as new teachers were sixteen students receiving the Professional Graduate Diploma in Education by Distance Learning (Primary). Two Highland students also qualified in Professional Graduate Diploma in Education by Distance Learning (Secondary).

Introduced in 2003, this Professional Graduate Diploma in Education by Distance Learning was the first teaching course of its kind in Scotland, allowing students from the Highland Council area the opportunity to study the same teacher training programme provided on campus by the University of Aberdeen's School of Education while working from home using a combination of distance learning techniques.

The programme, developed in collaboration with Highland Council, enables people to train for teaching while living at home.

The students are tutored over two years by the University's School of Education staff and Associate Tutors from Highland Council schools in a partnership approach. The 18 students took part in classes via computer and video-conferencing.

Moira McCarrell, Quality Improvement Officer (Strategic Initiatives) with The Highland Council said: "We are delighted to welcome the next cohort of teachers following the successful completion of their 2 year PGDE by Distance Learning course. The Highland Council welcomes the ongoing partnership arrangements with the University of Aberdeen, helping those whose circumstances prevent them from spending a year away from home to train to become teachers. For a large rural authority such as Highland, the close working relationship we enjoy with the University of Aberdeen is a vital aspect of teacher workforce planning."

Jim McCracken, Programme Director for PGDE Distance Learners and MA/BSc with Education Degrees at University of Aberdeen said: "Studying by distance learning is not easy. The journey thus far has taken years of effort and sacrifice, and students have to be very organised, pro-active, resourceful and dedicated, and it can be very lonely and isolated at times. We at the University of Aberdeen would like to pay tribute to all the graduates for successfully passing the course, and also for their Induction Year and beyond."

Students who have completed the course come from all over the Highlands and Islands including:

*Professional Graduate Diploma in Education by Distance Learning

o Susan Andrew, Lorraine Geddes and Shona McNicol from Thurso;

o Caroline Brennan from Ballachulish, Annette Carabine from Fort

o Marion MacAskill, Elizabeth MacFarlane and Meike Schmidt from

o Deborah Hamilton from Inverness and Louise Scott of Nairn;

o Ann Martin from Kildary, and Christina Wells from Strathpeffer

Gayle Jappy of Wick, Caroline Lawrie from Inverness, and Maureen Mackenzie and Marlene MacDonald from Skye were unable to attend the ceremony.

Two students graduated in the Professional Graduate Diploma in Education by Distance Learning (Secondary): Kirsty Mair (English) Fort William; and Lesley Ross (English) Hilton of Cadboll.

© 2010 Highland Public Services Partnership.
Project part-financed by the European Union (European Regional Development Fund) within the INTERREG IIIB Northern Periphery Programme