Highland students DLITE at teacher training graduation

DLITE Graduation
left to right: Ana Candido-Barton, Justine Mackay, Anna Stirling, Kelly Donnelly, Holly Ross (DLITE Development Officer), Claire Gray, Jo Scott, Joanne Harper, Kerry Challinor, Sonya Morrison, Aileen Mackay (Head Teacher, Smithton Primary and Strategic Quality Improvement Officer), Linda Fraser


Sixteen Highland students graduated this weekend (Saturday 27 June) through the University of Aberdeen in partnership with The Highland Council following an eighteen month distance learning diploma in Primary Teaching.

The course, Distance Learning Initial Teacher Education (DLITE) is completing its inaugural session in June 2015, seeing these students enter their Probation year in Highland schools this August.

Another twelve students began the second phase of DLITE in January this year, and will qualify in June 2016.

The strong partnership between the Local Authority and the University of Aberdeen has led to the development of DLITE, with opportunities for local people to train to become teachers via distance learning techniques, while remaining in their home towns and current employment.

Bill Alexander, Highland Council’s Director of Care and Learning said: “We know that we need to look for new ways to add to the cohort of teachers, and this is a tremendous and highly successful example, which will enhance the profession, by opening doors to people with talent who have a passion for teaching and working with young people.”

Elaine Kirkham, Highland Council’s Quality Improvement Officer with the Care and Learning Service added: “This is a great achievement for all the students graduating today. The interest the DLITE course continues to generate is remarkable and we hope to continue this method of teacher training in the future as it allows people to study from home, while employed which is proving a popular very popular avenue of learning for people thinking of a career change.”

While the majority of study time occurs through online learning, are also regular face to face sessions with current Highland practitioners sharing their expertise on subjects such as Literacy, Numeracy, Child Protection and PE, through network days. Students have also benefitted from days at the University with their Aberdeenshire colleagues. DLITE has followed the same programme provided for full time students studying at the University.

Dr Yvonne Bain, Deputy Head of School (Strategic Planning) at the University of Aberdeen said: “The University of Aberdeen is very pleased to be working in partnership with Highland Council to provide DLITE as an alternative route for entry to teaching. 

“The DLITE PGDE students have done incredibly well showing great perseverance and resilience, juggling the many commitments of family life, work and the demands of an intensive part-time study programme to successfully gain the PGDE (Professional Graduate Diploma in Education) award to become teachers in Highland. 

“The University of Aberdeen is keen to build on the positive partnership with Highland Council in order to retain and develop opportunities for teacher education through initiatives like DLITE.”

Students who graduated this weekend were:

  • Sulekha Millar (Kingussie.)
  • Alison Graham, Elaine Lynch, Jennifer Main, Katy Hardiment, Ruth Urquhart, (Inverness). Lauren Clark also of Inverness was not present at the graduation seremony.
  • Caroline Haines (Fort William) and Lindsay Forster (Glencoe).
  • Dawn Morgan (Muir of Ord), Donald MacPherson (Fortrose); and Shona Leggatt and Vivien Carmichael (Avoch).
  • Isla Christie and Yvonne Beaton (Tain).
  • Lois Canham (Rogart).

For further information on the DLITE Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (Primary) visit the University of Aberdeen website.

30 Jun 2015