Student reps lobby NCTJ directors

Four representatives from the Student Council attended the NCTJ’s June board meeting to give their views about their training and qualifications.

The four students were nominated at a meeting of the Student Council at the Press Association in February to ensure the voices of those on NCTJ-accredited courses are heard by the board. The council was set up in 2008 to ensure there is a direct link between students and the NCTJ.

Stephanie Carter is graduating this year from the journalism degree course at Staffordshire University; Andy Halls has just completed a BA in journalism at the University of Central Lancashire and has bagged one of the prized traineeships at The Sun; Michael Holt is completing an MA at Teesside University; and Elaine O’Flynn completed the fast-track journalism course at News Associates Manchester earlier this year and is a trainee at MEN Media.

Topics under discussion included: exam feedback from examiners and tutors; the costs of training and exam fees; the timing of exams; core skills for magazine journalists; how to get A grades in the reporting exam; and putting more emphasis on pro-active rather than passive journalism. 

Students appreciated the work the NCTJ had done to put students at the heart of its communications.  They made particular mention of the improved format of the shorthand exams.  Suggestions included running a student conference so that more students could engage with the NCTJ and whether additional modules could be offered to add greater value either on their accredited courses or by distance learning.

For more information about the Student Council and its representatives visit