What’s new at the St Giles Educational Trust …
As many of you know, the St Giles Educational Trust (SGET) was set up during the 1970s by St Giles’ founder Paul Lindsay. Its aim was to provide training for English language teachers and it was one of the first organisations in the UK to offer certificated teacher training courses. Paul was involved in the development and launch of the RSA Certificate in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (the predecessor of the Cambridge Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages – CELTA).
Today the Trust (which is a registered charity) manages the Cambridge teacher training courses at the UK centres of St Giles, it runs a seminar programme for teachers and other ELT professionals in the shape of the ‘Teachers’ Tuesday Club’ and it offers training and professional development for overseas teachers in their own countries. During the last 5 years the Trust has worked in 13 countries across Africa, Asia, South America, the Middle East and Eastern Europe. Its partners and clients include the British Council, the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office, and also government agencies, universities, schools NGOs and other educational charities overseas. All of the Trust’s programmes for overseas teachers are designed to meet local needs and some help them to prepare for Cambridge accreditation. Its work has ranged from training school inspectors in Algeria to supporting teachers working with Syrian refugees in the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan. The Trust has also provided scholarships at St Giles for some of the teachers from its projects.
The Trust’s first overseas project in 2013 was run in partnership with Expand/Build Malawi which is also supported by St Giles International. This involved training 40 primary school teachers from Chisala primary school and other schools across the Local Education Authority area.
One of the Trust’s longest collaborations is with the UK-Bangladesh Education Trust (UKBET) with which it has been working on the training of secondary school teachers in Sylhet since 2013. Some of the participants of the first programmes are themselves now training other teachers.
For the past year, the Trust has worked very closely with the British Council in Cuba: it has delivered a total of 9 courses for undergraduate teacher trainees at universities in Havana, Santiago and Santa Clara as well as newly qualified teachers. It has also worked with university professors to help them to embed a practical element into their teacher training courses.
In January 2019, the Trust will begin two significant new projects as part of a major new English language initiative in francophone West Africa which is being channelled through the British Council. One will focus on professional development for English language inspectors for secondary schools in Senegal and the Cote d’Ivoire. The other (a research and training project in partnership with the University of Manchester) will result in recommendations for a continuing professional development framework for English language teachers in these two countries.