THE Scottish Government has backed radical plans to transform the way teachers are trained by using ideas developed in traditional teaching hospitals.

Education Secretary Michael Russell has endorsed moves by Glasgow University to extend a pilot scheme introduced in the city.

The model borrows from the traditional approach of medical training where student doctors follow an experienced colleague on his or her rounds.

Mr Russell's backing came after The Herald revealed research found the pilot in schools in Glasgow had improved the experience of student teachers.

In particular, the research singled out the use of "learning rounds" – where groups of students observe teachers, as well as each other.

Currently trainee teachers are sent to different schools across a local authority area for their probation year, which means levels of support can differ markedly.

Speaking as Glasgow University announced plans to extend the scheme to schools in North Ayrshire, Mr Russell said: "I am confident this truly innovative model will be of great value to pupils, teachers and to the student teachers."

Today, Irvine Royal Academy will be officially unveiled as the first formal Glasgow University "partner school".