Following the successful completion of the Rural Learn to Teach programme, eighteen new probationer teachers celebrated their achievement at a civic reception, hosted by Highland Council, in Inverness on Saturday 30th November.

Rural Learn to Teach programme is an innovative route into primary teaching. It is funded by the Scottish Government, delivered in partnership by University of Dundee and the University of Highlands and Islands, and is fully supported by Highland Council.

This is the first cohort to complete the programme, which allows students to continue in their full time employment whilst engaging in their studies. Highland Council praised the initiative and welcomed the new teachers into the profession.

Sincere congratulations to all.


From left to right:

Mary Knight, Senior Lecturer and Associate Dean of Learning & Teaching, University of Dundee, Jill Shimi, Project Lead, RLTT, University of Dundee, Aileen Mackay, Strategic Quality Improvement Officer, Highland Council, Anna Marshall, Sarah McNair, Cara MacCallum, Ida Bartkiewicz, Shirley Young, Amanda Gibbon, Beth Henderson, Mhairi Cameron, Zoe Livings, Erin Wilmot, Rebecca Walters, Shira Drain, Gavin MacMillan, Heather McLauchlan, Carla Gallon, Fiona MacDonald, Heather Dibble, Christine Stokes, Mark Lindley-Highfield, Group Lead, RLTT, University of Dundee and UHI, Nicky Grant Interim Head of Education, Highland Council and joined by Depute Provost Bet McAllister.

We welcome our new Highland colleagues into the teaching profession and wish them all the best in their chosen careers.




Rural Learn to Teach Programme

A Partnership Approach

Further Information

The University of Dundee, in partnership with University of Highlands and Islands and Highlands Council, has developed a part time programme to enable eligible Local Authority Employees to undertake a PGDE Primary qualification.

This route into teaching allows students to complete the qualification while remaining in employment.

The programme is identical in content to the full time PGDE route, but is offered on a part time basis over 18 months.

Students will attend workshops, introduction days and on campus learning days in Inverness.

The programme consists of academic study and practical placements.

Academic Study

Workshops Inverness Approximately 12 Saturdays  across the 18 months
Introductory Days Inverness Two on campus
Summer School and Spring School Inverness On campus


In addition to face to face sessions, above, students will participate in a range of online learning, including on line lectures and webinars.

Professional Practice

Students will also undertake three school placements, within their Local Authority to develop practical teaching skills.

PP1: Middle to Upper Stages (P.4-7)
PP2: Nursery/Early Years
PP3: Any stage (P.1-7)



Formative assessment and summative assessments are used throughout the course. There are two university-based assessed modules (both written assignments) and three professional practice modules. Professional Practice (Placement) is assessed with reference to the Standard for Provisional Registration by university staff and school partners. Although this course is at graduate entry, there are components (University-based) which are assessed at SCQF Level 10 and Level 11.  Professional Placement is assessed only at SCQF Level 10.


Student Support

Throughout the programme students will be supported by the Programme Lead. They will also be supported by their placement tutor and lecturing staff.

Who is Eligible?

  • Existing Local Authority employees who hold the relevant qualifications
    • Recognised Degree
    • Higher English at grade ’C’ or above, or equivalent qualification
    • National 5 Mathematics at grade ’C’ or above, or equivalent qualification
    • The final decision regarding who can apply lies with the LA. It is the decision of the LA to agree which members of staff can be released from post to complete the placements.



The universities and the Local Authority are committed to supporting the students and there is an agreement with the Local Authorities that students will be released from their substantive post to undertake the school placements.

  • Completing all tasks and assessments
  • Maintaining close contact with tutor


Applications must be approved by your Line Manager and your Local Authority.



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