First batch of distance learning teachers ready to start in Moray classrooms

Pictured from left to right: Hazel McLeod, Toni-Michelle Lee, Kirsty Dunlop, Laurence Findlay, Lorraine Parr, Tracey Lees and Pauliina Johnston

The first group of Moray teachers who trained through a distance learning scheme will start in the area’s classrooms this month.

The DLite programme, which is an 18-month course run by Aberdeen University, was completed by six newly-qualified teachers in the area.

The new teachers completed the course on a part-time basis, with four balancing their university commitments with working for the council.

Education bosses were pleased that the new recruits are ready to start work, after it emerged last month that three teachers due to start in the area had pulled out of their roles.

Kirsty Dunlop, Toni-Michelle Lee, Tracey Lees and Hazel McLeod balanced their commitments in working for the council with completing the course – but they agreed that it had been worth the effort.

Ms Mcleod said: “We might have a few more wrinkles but we’re all still smiling.”

Lorraine Parr had previously worked as a classroom assistant and Pauliina Johnston had worked in farming before deciding to make the career switch.

Ms Lee said: ““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.”

Moray Council’s education director, Laurence Findlay, welcomed the teacher’s ahead of starting their new role and said they would help to tackle the shortage in the area.

He said: “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.”

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