STUDENTS completing their primary teaching qualification part-time will soon be facing the chalk face.
The six women are the first Moray graduates of the DLITE programme, which allows them to complete their PGDE Primary (Professional Graduate Diploma in Education) over 18 months instead of 10.
The scheme run by Moray College and The University of Aberdeen enables students to fit in their study around their jobs.
Yesterday they received their diplomas from Laurence Findlay, the local authority’s director of health and social care.
Kirsty Dunlop, Toni-Michelle Lee, Tracey Lees and Hazel McLeod are Moray Council employees who took the opportunity to gain their primary teaching qualification alongside their regular jobs.
Lorraine Parr is a former classroom assistant and Pauliina Johnston worked in farming before making the career switch.
Hazel said: "We might have a few more wrinkles but we’re all still smiling."
Toni-Michelle, who was head of business engagement for Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce, is keen to get into the classroom.
She said: "I moved to Moray from Edinburgh because I decided to get out of the rat race.
"Now I’m going to be teaching Primary 2 at Hythehill in Lossiemouth.
"Changing the lives of young people is what I’m most looking forward to."
Mr Findlay said the graduates had worked hard to gain their qualification.
He added: "Given the current shortage of teachers we’re facing in Moray, we’re looking at attracting more people into the job that may not have considered it before.
"This group of graduates has Moray Council staff who’ve worked in health and social care, education and benefits.
"The DLITE programme has given them the opportunity to remain in employment while forging a new career in teaching.
"I couldn’t be happier for them."
Applications for next year’s DLITE course close on Friday, August 18.
For more information visit www.moray.gov.uk/dlite