Becoming a Fast Track Geography Teacher: What does it mean?
This article describes an innovative scheme for recruiting and developing able new teachers in England. It includes a case study of one university–school partnership programme and explores the experience of a small number of geography teachers through that programme. The Fast Track programme was initiated in 2000 and offers financial incentives and enhanced opportunities for continuing professional development during training and in the first years of teaching. The programme, its assessment procedures and the ways it has changed since inception are all discussed. The scheme has not been welcomed by all teachers, head teachers and governors. It has been commented upon by the education press and remains a controversial development within teacher education in England. As a result of a more buoyant state of teacher recruitment the scheme has now been closed to new entrants to the profession. However, the author and her colleagues recognise the value of many elements of the programme and are seeking to find alternative opportunities to retain some of these within London.
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Date: Summer 2006