Teachers could come from Down Under to work in Essex schools

PUBLISHED: 10:22 28 April 2016 | UPDATED: 10:22 28 April 2016

Teachers could be sourced from Australia for Essex. Library image.

Teachers could be sourced from Australia for Essex. Library image.

A recruitment drive to bring more teachers to Essex – from as far afield as Australia – is being continued by County Hall.

Essex County Council has joined forces with schools to form a strategic group, which includes representatives from the Association of Secondary Headteachers in Essex (ASHE), the Essex Primary Headteachers’ Association (EPHA) and Essex Special School Education Trust (ESSET).

The county is being promoted to teachers in Australia, Lancashire, Cheshire and Wales, which all have a surplus of teachers.

As well as highlighting the attractions of Essex, the programme is also looking at improving training opportunities and other issues which are a barrier to recruitment, such as securing rented or subsidised key worker housing for teachers.

There is also a bursary scheme to support those on unpaid teacher training courses in areas of the county where recruitment of teachers has proved particularly tough.

A graduate internship programme, Step to Teaching, was opened by the county council last week, offering paid, hands-on experience in Essex schools and training opportunities before they commit themselves to a career in teaching.

Successful interns will then start a teacher training course in Essex.

The overall project is part-funded by the Essex Schools Forum.

Ray Gooding, county councillor for education, said: “Essex is on a fantastic school improvement journey. A strong supply of good quality teachers is vital if that is to continue.

​“We actively support schools with the growing challenge of recruitment and I am pleased to be working on a number of new strategies to attract teachers to Essex.”

The executive directors of ASHE and EPHA, said they welcomed the efforts being made jointly with the county council.

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