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Byline: Joanna Desira

Heads are tackling teacher shortages in Teesside secondary schools with the launch of a new training scheme.

But filling vacancies for maths teachers could still prove difficult as the scheme has been hit by the national shortage of maths graduates. Middlesbrough has received funding to set up a School Centred Initial Teacher Training programme at Macmillan College's Learning Centre in partnership with the University of Durham Local Education Authority.

The trainee teachers will go into Middlesbrough schools to teach and at the end of the course they will receive a Postgraduate Certificate of Education from Durham University and the Qualified Teacher Status. All secondary schools in Middlesbrough have signed up to be in the scheme, apart from the King's Academy in Coulby Newham.

Deborah Wright, SCITT co-ordinator, said the subjects where Middlesbrough schools were finding it difficult to recruit were English, design and technology, information communication technology, science and maths.

"Rather than take trained teachers from higher education institutes, we are becoming a provider ourselves and from September we will train 19 trainee teachers for recruitment in Middlesbrough schools," she said.

"Unfortunately, we only received funding from the Teacher Training Agency for three subject areas - ICT, science and maths. We haven't recruited a single person for maths and there is a major problem with maths degrees throughout the country.

"We are still trying and we are now looking at people with maths-related degrees."

According to figures from One NorthEast, four years ago recruitment in the region was 31pc below target and 30pc of teachers were leaving the profession within two years of qualifying.

Colin Algie, headteacher at Ormesby School, said: "I think it is a wonderful facility for all the schools which will meet the needs of Middlesbrough in the future as far as learning and teaching is concerned and we are totally supportive. Maths is a national shortage area.

"The number of people going to university to study maths has diminished in the last few years and those who do maths are taking work in ICT."

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Title Annotation:News Local
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Jun 3, 2004
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