Flemish embrace Teach First

Nieuws | de redactie
10 september 2012 | A system that promises to increase learning results with at least 50% and to tackle teacher shortages in Flanders. After a visit to Feltham Community College, Flemish MP Kathleen Helsen (CD&V) wants to introduce ‘Teach First’ in her own country. As soon as possible.

In Flanders a child’s educational career is largely predisposedby the social economic status of his or hers parents. In a recent study, MP Helsen concludes that even with the samelearning results, children from richer backgrounds, are more oftenadvised to enter higher education.

Less than 5,8% of students in higher education come from Turkishor North African background, whereas the percentages of thesegroups in the general population are at least three timeshigher.

Business engagement

MAP Kathleen Helsen thinks that Teach First can make adifference. “The teachers in the Teach First programme are highlytalented, not only in their own subject, but also in socialaspects. In Britain companies engage too, teaching the youngeducators leadership skills.”

The teachers commit to their schools for at least two years, buteven after that period many of these excellent people do not leavethe teaching profession. Around one third of the Teach Firstteachers opt for a career in business.

Demolish regulations

Helsen will shortly start contacting stakeholders in education,business and government to gain momentum for the project inFlanders. “If necessary I will demolish all regulations that stand in the way”, Kathleen Helsen says, “Equal opportunitiesin education is my ultimate goal.”  


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