"I applied for the School Direct Programme in March and, from my selection in May through to my present stage, near the end of my first block placement, I have had an enthralling experience. Defining highlights were:

Duncan Gillies (Teaching School Director) taking the trouble to advise me on financing options when I discovered no salaried places remained: this made the difference in May when I faced deferral of a 20-year-old dream to teach Maths.

July orientation at Glenthorne, when the professionalism of tutors and their frankness about which parts of the programme were still under construction helped create an atmosphere of joint adventure to make this work.

Quick, responsive feedback from my professional and subject studies tutors when I faltered during my block placement.

Committed, available school liaison in Debra Smith, who keeps an open mind and door.

My mentor and department head are tough, fair and kind. I'm having a ball!"