Attraction of English Teachers to Wales 'Could Cause Culture Clash' TEACHING: Progressive Policies of Assembly Could Create Recruitment Crisis
Byline: RHODRI CLARK
SCHOOLS in Wales could be swamped with teachers from England if education policies continue to diverge.
Figures released today show the scale of Wales's recruitment problem, with more than half of teachers aged 45 and over.
The gaps left as they retire could attract teachers from England who are disillusioned with the Labour Government's education policies, but questions could be raised about their understanding of cultural issues in Wales.
Delegates at the National Union of Teachers conference over the Easter weekend referred to what they saw as the progressive policies of the National Assembly for Wales.
Removal of school league tables and the end of tests for seven-year-olds are making teaching in Wales a more attractive proposition.
But a recruitment crisis is looming, if current trends continue.
The first annual digest from the new General Teaching Council in Wales show that 52pc of teachers are 45 or over.
The GTCW warned of a "demographic timebomb" and NUT Cymru said other graduate professions offered better pay, shorter working weeks, workplaces that were more modern and better equipped, less bureaucracy and no threat of stressful school inspections.
NUT Cymru secretary Gethin Jones said many delegates at the NUT conference praised the Assembly's commitment to comprehensive schools.
He said, "In England Estelle Morris is trying to develop specialist schools which can select pupils."
The further Wales moved from the English policies, the more teachers in England would consider moving to Wales to teach, he said.
"People have got to be aware that it's not just moving into a new job if they teach in Wales. There are other issues besides finding a more acceptable place to teach."
Qualified teachers who have left the profession could solve the impending crisis, said the GTCW. …