Agency Desperate for Stand-In Teachers; EDUCATION: Pool of Supply Staff Dries Up as Workload and Red Tape Make the Profession Unattractive to Graduates

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), January 30, 2002 | Go to article overview

Agency Desperate for Stand-In Teachers; EDUCATION: Pool of Supply Staff Dries Up as Workload and Red Tape Make the Profession Unattractive to Graduates


Byline: RHODRI EVANS

THE SHORTAGE of teachers is now so severe that heads are being forced to recruit from overseas.

The workload and red tape teachers face each day is blamed for making the profession unattractive to most graduates, resulting in an ageing workforce with little back-up.

The remaining teachers are increasingly being asked to teach subjects in which they have not been trained.

One Newport-based supply agency has already started recruiting staff from New Zealand.

Phil Huntley, of Education Recruitment Network, said, "We are not getting any teachers coming through to us. I don't really see an end to the problem. We let five schools down yesterday in the Valleys and Newport area. We are letting people down that we have never let down before.

"There are fewer teachers - full stop.

"I don't know where else we are going to get them from, apart from the extreme measures we are taking and going overseas. Secondary schools don't even ask you anymore for a subject area, they just say send us a general teacher. The pools of supply teachers they used have dried up, now the pools we have created for them as an agency have also dried up."

National Union of Teachers Cymru secretary Gethin Lewis said, "This has been the experience in England for the last two years. A large number of teachers in London have been teachers on a world tour from New Zealand and Australia who come, do a bit of teaching to earn some money, and move on. …

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