More than 50 graduates have started new careers in Suffolk schools thanks to an innovative internship programme.
In a partnership between Schools’ Choice and Suffolk schools supported by Suffolk County Council, interns get one academic year of paid experience teaching and working with children and young people.
Around 20 schools will host the interns including primary schools, a pupil referral unit, a special school, academies and Local Authority maintained schools.
Lisa Chambers, Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, said: “This new programme of internships in schools is a fantastic opportunity for graduates to gain paid work experience and see if working in education is the right career path for them.
“Recruiting, developing and retaining quality teachers in Suffolk are key priorities of our Raising the Bar programme as we recognise how crucial this is to continuing to improve educational standards in the county.
“We have developed this graduate programme by working in partnership with schools, which benefit from bright graduates, who bring creativity and different skills to the classroom.”
The interns will receive development support, the chance to work in specific interest areas, such as special education needs or social work, and help with making career choices or applications for further professional training.
Tanya Fennell, graduate intern at Britannia Primary School, who studied Nutrition and Human Health at UCS, said: “I have a passion for working with children, and applied for the graduate internship scheme to get experience of working within a school and learn more about what it is like to be a teacher. It’s going really well so far, and I get to work with really exciting and engaging bright pupils.”
St Helen’s Primary School in Ipswich started employing interns two years ago, and recognised the opportunity to work in partnership to develop the idea and expand the scheme across Suffolk.
Lena Shete, Deputy Head at St Helen’s Primary School in Ipswich, which is employing eight graduates this year, said: “It’s a brilliant programme; the graduates are so keen and full of ideas, energy and enthusiasm, which is great for our pupils. We give the interns a chance to really understand what teaching and working in a school is like across all of our primary year groups.”
A few places are still available on the Graduate Internships in Schools programme. Visit Suffolk Jobs Direct to apply by 25 September.