Teachers to be given time out for study

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The Independent Online

Teachers will be given time off to top up their skills and to do research under a scheme to be announced by the Government today.

Teachers will be given time off to top up their skills and to do research under a scheme to be announced by the Government today.

About 800 teachers a year will benefit from the £3m programme of research scholarships. They will be given scholarships of about £2,500 to £3,000 to study subjects such as gifted pupils, why boys lag behind girls, the problems of transferring from primary to secondary schools, improving discipline and thinking skills.

Inner-city teachers in nine pilot areas will also be offered bursaries of £500 or £700 to update their professional skills. The scholarships will last for a year but teachers who win them will not be given a specific amount of sabbatical leave. Their research will be based in the classroom and they will negotiate with their headteacher over the amount of time off they need. If necessary, they will be able to use some of their grant to pay for a supply teacher to take their classes.

The Education minister Estelle Morris said: "We are committed to supporting teachers to develop their skills and strengthening teaching as a research-based profession ... We will make sure best practice is shared across the profession."

More information is available from Val Candy on 020-79256598.

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