Tackling the Flexible Route

For Christine Walford, finding a mentor on the Flexible Route made all the difference to her probation experience.

Flexible Route probationer

I successfully achieved the Standard for Full Registration on the Flexible Route in October 2008 and am writing to honestly share my experiences.

I'd like to start off by saying a huge thank you to the Flexible Route as, without it, I would not have been able to gain full registration as a primary teacher.

Accumulating service

I worked regularly in various schools in Cumbria as a supply teacher between September 2004 and December 2006, but this did not count towards my probationary service in England. Thankfully I had registered with GTC Scotland in January 2005 and was regularly updating them with my progress.

From March 2007 I was employed by Dumfries and Galloway to work as a supply teacher and from then on things really picked up. I felt valued as a teacher, attended CPD training courses/twilight sessions, met other probationers and worked regularly for various schools.

I was very fortunate to be taken on as Reduction in Class Contact Time (RICCT) cover by a school in Dumfries. The thrill of really belonging to a school gave me so much encouragement, and the feedback from class observations for Interim and Final Reports made me realise I could actually achieve my goal.

Finding support

I was lucky enough to be able to find my own mentor, and she has been such a help to me. She had fully registered through the Flexible Route and was able to answer my specific questions and queries about how to successfully gain Full Registration.

I really would recommend a personal mentor to everyone on the Flexible Route as, for me, it started out as a very lonely route and quite scary at the start not initially knowing the schools you were going to have to teach at for the day.

I am very grateful for all the schools both in England and in Dumfries and Galloway who have regularly employed me as a supply teacher enabling my dream to come true. I'm also grateful to all the staff that have befriended me.

But, most of all, I'm grateful to the children I've taught: they've been polite, eager to join in the lessons and try their hardest, and have always offered to help keep me right as to how their particular class does things. Their class teachers should be very proud of them.