This section provides some of the most frequently asked questions by student teachers, particularly around your placement. Students should visit the GTCS website and the EIS website for the most up to date information.
Disruption to placement should be raised with your university. Earlier this year, the GTCS and Council of Deans anticipated that there would be difficulties in the event of a second wave, including disruption to placements. There are other routes to placement. For example, you could extend your studentship to the next academic year or you could take the flexible route to probation.
Your university should have a hardship or discretionary fund available. Check your university website for more information or contact your student union for further information and support.
You're entitled to request flexible working from your employer, in line with your studies. More information on making a request for flexible working can be found on the ACAS website. If your request is unreasonably denied, then you may wish to raise a grievance.
If there are others in the workplace who are experiencing similar issues think about getting together and raising the issue collectively. Even if you are studying part-time, ensure you are in the right trade union which represents workers in your sector. As a student member you can be a member of the EIS and other trade unions.
Employers are likely to be impressed that you’re completing your teacher training under such difficult circumstances. This year’s student teachers are showing great resilience, ingenuity, and commitment to the profession. You should highlight these as strengths in the recruitment process.
The EIS have published guidance on blended and remote learning. Your university would also provide support with this transition.
The EIS and national government advice is that teachers should wear face masks if they wish. If somebody challenges you on this, then you should raise it with your school rep or your EIS Local Association Secretary immediately.
You should raise this collectively with your course mates to your university and through your student association. You may also advise your course tutor of your personal concerns regarding the communications that you have received.
If you’re struggling with your mental health, then you should contact your GP and let your personal tutor know. Where a group of students are beginning to struggle with their mental health or if you believe the university can do more to support students then you should raise it collectively with your university and through your student association.
If you live with a vulnerable person then you should inform your course leader in the first instance to discuss your options and the mitigations available. School Risk Assessments should be in place and updated regularly. The main mitigations for the reduction of Covid-19 infection are 2m social distancing, face masks, ventilation, regular handwashing, and hygiene measures that should make schools controlled environments.
Many University clubs and societies have moved online, and you will find one for almost every interest, even for quizzes and socialising. Check out your university Student Union Website or the NUS website for further information.