Children and youngsters are in classrooms once again – but they are not the only ones making a return to learning.
The start of the new 2020-21 academic year also sees the latest cohort of aspiring teachers begin their studies with University of Cumbria, aiming to further their own education and development.
In line with latest government safety and social distancing guidance, many of the mature students are enjoying face-to-face sessions with tutors on campus while the university’s annual induction programme for them has moved largely online.
The steps taken reflect upon the university’s wider approach to blended learning this year in response to the coronavirus pandemic and builds upon the existing expertise in online course delivery within its respected Institute of Education.
It comes as University of Cumbria has witnessed an increase of almost 14 per cent in the number of teacher training applications it has received so far this year, reflecting the national upturn reported by organisations such as the University and College Admissions Service and Education Policy Institute during the coronavirus pandemic.
To date, more than 600 aspiring teachers have registered on Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) courses at University of Cumbria campuses in Carlisle, Lancaster and London. In addition, over the coming weeks, undergraduate teacher training courses begin, with more applications due to be processed before the Clearing window closes next month.
The PGCE cohort is a mix of University of Cumbria students and those training to become teachers through School Direct, a scheme delivered in partnership with primary and secondary schools.
Students will include recent graduates taking up the opportunity of further study, those changing careers, as well as existing education figures who are embarking on a programme of continued professional development (CPD).
Kathryn Fox, Head of Student Recruitment & Portfolio, Institute of Education at University of Cumbria, said: “The annual induction of our new cohort of aspiring teachers and educators is always one of the most exciting times of the year heralding new beginnings. And whilst the pandemic has resulted in our induction going largely online, it has been heartening to witness face to face sessions between students and our tutors, held in line with official guidelines.
“What has been demonstrated throughout the pandemic is the important role that our public services, such as education and health, play. This has allowed many people to sharpen their focus and consider how they want to develop and make a real difference to others as we move forward together through this challenging time.
“We continue to work very closely with our partners across the education sector, providing support to them and to our students who gain and learn so much from the practical experiences of working directly with children in schools and classrooms preparing them well for their future careers inspiring and nurturing generations to come.”
Over the last six months many University of Cumbria student teachers supported schools with virtual lessons and other projects for children, young people and families when coronavirus restrictions led to closures.
If you’re interested in working in education or supporting children and families in other ways, there are still places available for anyone looking to start a course this autumn. If you still need to apply, have changed your mind about the course you’ve chosen or are looking for a career change, the university’s Clearing team can help on 0808 178 733 and online at www.cumbria.ac.uk/clearing.