Businesses can sponsor trainee teachers in bid to stop shortage in Essex

Call for businesses to sponsor trainee teachers in Essex

Call for businesses to sponsor trainee teachers in Essex - Credit: PA

Businesses are being asked to sponsor trainees in a new scheme to tackle the teacher shortage in Essex.

Firms from across the county can put forward bursaries of between £3-9,000 to support a new teacher as they train at college.

The scheme has been put forward by primary school training provider Essex and Thames Primary SCITT, which works with a number of partner schools across the county.

Jo Palmer-Tweed, executive director at the provider, said: “We are facing an unprecedented recruitment crisis which could be potentially catastrophic. There are more children in our playgrounds than ever before and that means we need more teachers in our classrooms.

“At the same time many outstanding potential new teachers are not able to train because they lack the necessary funds.

“Teacher training colleges are now only allowed to recruit students who can support themselves or find funding elsewhere. As a result, some colleges are turning away as many as eight to ten good applicants a week.

“We believe this is the first scheme of its kind in the UK.

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“It is the perfect opportunity for a business to invest in the local community and have a positive impact on the early education of our local children. Their generosity will ensure our schools are able to recruit and train the highest quality teachers.”

In return for sponsoring a teacher the training provider offers “PR opportunities”.

Essex and Thames Primary SCITT has 10 candidates who need sponsorship, and another 20 potential trainee teachers in its application system.

It has also launched a crowdfunding campaign in a bid to raise £30,000 to support trainee teachers.

Essex County Council launched a recruitment campaign in January, initially running until the end of this month, in a bid to attract teachers and trainees to the county.