Students at a new school of social care will be able to pay their teachers in kind, by offering them biscuits, tips on fundraising, or even the kitchen sink, according to those behind a launch on Monday.
The Trade School Glasgow is billed as an alternative learning space, which will run on barter.
The first of its kind in Scotland, it is based on a model already open for business in New York, London, Singapore and Barcelona.
Loading article content
Teachers who come forward to share their skills will be paid not in cash, but in kind – and can detail how they wish to be reimbursed by learners. This offers them a middle ground between demanding payment and offering their skills for free.
A teacher from a care home has already asked for a traditional sink or a mangle to contribute to a reminiscence project for residents.
While the idea is not new, the organisers, the Glasgow-based Social Care Ideas Factory (SCIF), say that Trade School Glasgow will be the first in the world to focus its free classes on practical subjects relating to social care and community development.
Classes will run from September 25 to December 13 and so far include courses on confident speaking, self-improvement and a class at Ashgill Care Home in Milton on how care providers can integrate their work with the community. The experience in other countries which have set up trade schools is that courses on offer snowball as the term progresses, with participants setting up their own lessons.
While sessions will take place in a range of venues, many of the classes are being held in the Scottish Youth Theatre's premises in Glasgow's Merchant City.
While SCIF says classes can include training in basic social care skills such as moving and handling vulnerable people, it is encouraging a wide definition of what is suitable.
It believes it is a timely development when more restrictions have been placed on who is eligible for funds such as individual learning accounts, and social care providers are increasingly having to cut back on training.
Charlie Barker, director of SCIF, said the idea had already been enthusiastically received, with some classes reaching capacity before the launch.
The biggest problem organisers have faced so far is persuading tutors to demand payment, he said.