The Welsh Government has announced it will extend its programme of school placements for Newly Qualified Teachers until the end of the school year.
The scheme, which offers paid employment in schools to Newly Qualified Teachers (NQTs), has been funded by the Welsh Government since September 2021.
The Welsh Government provides extra funding to local authorities so schools can provide placements for NQTs. The Welsh Government will provide an extra £4.2m to enable the scheme to continue until July.
Most NQTs have needed to undertake at least part of their teaching placements online, due to the pandemic. The programme supports NQTs to develop their experience and confidence by providing them with further classroom experience and enabling them to complete their induction period before they go into teaching.
More than 400 NQTs have undertaken placements in schools across Wales through the scheme, with 60 of those already successfully securing permanent posts. The funding for NQTs is part of the Welsh Government's Renew and Reform programme, to support learners' wellbeing and progression in response to COVID-19.
As well as supporting NQTs with their careers, the NQTs have provided additional teaching capacity in schools during the pandemic.
Jeremy Miles, the Minister for Education and Welsh Language, said:
The pandemic has been a real challenge for our education system, including for Newly Qualified Teachers, who have not had the opportunity to experience as much time in the classroom as they normally would.
This scheme has enabled NQTs to gain classroom experience while providing extra capacity to help schools ensure learning has continued.
We’ve received positive feedback from schools that the NQTs are helping them with continuing staffing pressures, by having extra skilled staff who can take classes and who know the pupils and understand their school’s ethos.
Extending the scheme until the end of the year will benefit NQTs in developing their careers, support schools and ultimately support learners.