IT was smiles all round yesterday as the first group of DLITE graduates from Moray received their teaching certificates.
Six newly-qualified teachers studied through the DLITE programme, an 18-month course run by Aberdeen University, which allows students to study part-time alongside other employment.
Of the six who were awarded their certificates from Moray Council’s education director, Laurence Findlay, four are current council employees who’ve taken the opportunity to retrain as teachers.
Kirsty Dunlop, Toni-Michelle Lee, Tracey Lees and Hazel McLeod completed the teaching course alongside their regular jobs with the council – a challenge they all agreed has been worth it.
Hazel said at the end of their induction yesterday: “We might have a few more wrinkles but we’re all still smiling!”
Meanwhile Lorraine Parr is a former classroom assistant for Moray Council and Pauliina Johnston worked in farming before making the career switch.
Toni-Michelle, who was head of business engagement for Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce, can’t wait to get into the classroom.
“I moved to Moray from Edinburgh because I decided to get out of the rat race. Now I’m going to be teaching Primary 2 at Hythehill in Lossiemouth. Changing the lives of young people is what I’m most looking forward to.”
Laurence is thrilled that more than two thirds of the DLITE graduates in Moray are current or former council employees.
“Given the current shortage of teachers we’re facing in Moray, we’re looking at attracting more people into the job that may not have considered it before. This group of graduates has Moray Council staff who’ve worked in health and social care, education and benefits.
“The DLITE programme has given them the opportunity to remain in employment while forging a new career in teaching. I couldn’t be happier for them.”
Applications for next year’s DLITE course close on Friday 18 August, more can be found at www.moray.gov.uk/dlite.
Moray Council area stretches from Tomintoul in the south to the shores of the Moray Firth, from Keith in the east to Forres in the west. The council and its 4,500 employees respond to the needs of 95,510 residents in this beautiful part of Scotland, which nestles between Aberdeenshire and the Highlands.
Famous for its colony of dolphins, fabulous beaches and more malt whisky distilleries than any where else in Scotland, Moray is a thriving area and a great place to live.
Headquartered in Elgin, the administrative capital of Moray.