"When I saw the article about White Hart Lane School and teaching diversity in the newspaper I phoned White Hart Lane School to get more information. They put me through to Füsun Dedezade who then invited me to come along and see the school."
"After assessing my qualifications and experience, Füsun advised that I did not qualify for OTTP since I had not taught in Turkey, so she recommended the GTP as the best option. As a starting point she advised me to apply for a job as a classroom assistant at White Hart Lane school, as the first requirement of the GTP is to be employed by a school."
"Once I began work as a classroom assistant, the GTP process started with a one-week induction programme followed by a weekly meeting for the rest of the year. Füsun became my tutor and helped with paperwork and to establish a portfolio. The North London Consortium (LoNoCo) assigned a mentor who came termly to check the portfolio and carry out observations."
"The GTP process took a year to complete, at the end of which my portfolio needed to be moderated. Following this I took the English, Maths and ICT skills tests. The English test involved listening and comprehension – this was fine. The maths was more difficult as I had not done it for many years. I did several practice papers on the TDA website prior to sitting the skills tests."
"Throughout the GTP and around his role as classroom assistant, Taskin volunteered at a number of schools in West London – something he had been advised to do by an ex-headteacher friend. This including volunteering at a Turkish complementary school where he taught Turkish to third generation Cypriots. This additional voluntary experience helped Taskin develop a good working knowledge of the UK education system."
Taskin successfully completed the GTP and was awarded QTS.
Potential barriers to obtaining QTS and getting a job
"The main problem was the system itself - it took a good while to understand. Another difficulty arose from the fact that I was the first person to do the GTP in Turkish. This meant that there was no precedent; there was no one to discuss things with, or other portfolios to look at."
"Finding work teaching Turkish was also tricky – this is possibly the case with a lot of language teachers. Since decisions about what languages a school will teach have been passed to headteachers, it places language teachers in a more vulnerable position, for example KS3 was recently dropped from our syllabus. I also teach ICT to make up the timetable."
Benefits of QTS and the GTP
"Although the process of becoming a teacher can be stressful and tiring it is also very rewarding. I enjoyed learning new ideas, helping children in their education and working closely with colleagues."
"It helps your self-esteem to know that you can work with a class of teenagers who come from less-privileged backgrounds that are thought to be ‘unteachable’."
"Doing GTP makes you realise what the teaching profession entails, and you get to see the fulfilment of it’."
Advice to anyone considering the GTP
"I think the GTP is a good route to QTS because you learn as you do it and there is a greater practical element [than some other routes]. Always ensure you have a second subject to offer, as it makes you more employable."
"Of course it requires you to be prepared all the time. If you are new to teaching and not well prepared, students often sense this and try to take advantage. This can lead to other problems such as classroom management."
"Since you are observed in many lessons, and QTS criteria requires you to compile paper-based evidence, you end up with piles of paper. Unless you are organised it is difficult to keep the paperwork in order."