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Norfolk and Suffolk turn to southern Europe to tackle teacher recruitment crisis

06:30 12 November 2015

The new campaign is targeting graduates in southern Europe. Photo: David Davies/PA Wire

The new campaign is targeting graduates in southern Europe. Photo: David Davies/PA Wire

A campaign to lure Europe’s brightest graduates to our region will be launched tomorrow to tackle the teacher recruitment crisis facing our schools.

The initiative, which will sell the benefits of life in Norfolk and Suffolk, will target top universities in four of the countries where students face the toughest time finding jobs after completing their studies.

The adverts in Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal will encourage high-fliers who have studied maths, physics, chemistry, computing and modern foreign languages - subjects business leaders have said are vital to our economy - to undergo teacher training in our region, and then work in our schools.

It is spearheaded by Suffolk and Norfolk Initial Teacher Training (Snitt) and West Suffolk College.

Geoff Robinson, of Snitt, said: “I think it’s really important because we want our local young people to be taught by the very best teachers, as they will be an inspiration in maths and physics and these key subjects.

“We have really important projects in the local economy, like the Norwich Research Park. We want our young people to be trained for a scientific and technological future.”

An EDP survey of Norfolk headteachers last year identified recruitment as the most serious issue facing education in the county.

The first selection round aims to recruit 20 trainees, and will include interviews over the internet to check their English ability, and a fortnight’s placement in a school in our region.

The south-European countries have high youth unemployment figures, and because they are EU citizens, the candidates will be eligible for the same government bursaries as British applicants.

James Joyce, chairman of the Children’s Services Committee at Norfolk County Council, said there were “particular challenges” recruiting teachers in subjects like science and technology, and added: “These are growth areas in the county and represent significant career opportunities for Norfolk’s students, so it is imperative that Norfolk’s children and young people have access to the best teaching in these subjects.

“By recruiting graduates from across Europe we can build on the fantastic teaching that is already taking place in many of the county’s schools.”

Do you have an education story? Email martin.george@archant.co.uk

29 comments

  • Why not bring in European teachers? one of my wife's relations is a teacher on one of the Japanese islands teaching English in one the University's over there, and has done for many years, so if he can be over there, a European teacher can be over here .

    Report this comment

    Footyboy16

    Friday, November 13, 2015

  • bad form some 40 plus years ago I poached one of the best teachers in France, CAPES and all and she is still the love of my life and she is still trying to educate the British me included.

    Report this comment

    francophile

    Thursday, November 12, 2015

  • Bad Form if you have a surplus of people who are capable to train as teachers,doctors,nurses etc then out of the 5.3% employed why aren't we doing it.Because the unemployed are benefit couch potatoes who don't want a job and who are quite prepared to remain in that position.The unemployed are quite happy to stay where they are and let better qualified immigrants take the available jobs.Just to qualify earlier posts if there is an easier way to earn a living than teaching then NQTs will take that route so we need to improve conditions and salaries to retain them as Brian Conway, Head of Notre Dame said this morning on Radio Norfolk.

    Report this comment

    francophile

    Thursday, November 12, 2015

  • Heaven forbid, but for once I'm in agreement with Daisy Roots! She has hit the nail on the head when she says that the recruitment crisis facing the NHS & teaching is due to the abysmal track record we have in the UK of providing enough training places. It's also the case that the continual demands placed on those professions by successive governments has made both professions exceedingly unattractive to all but the most determined of individuals. Whilst the salary and prospect of getting an easy entry to the UK may make jobs in English schools attractive to foreign teachers the reality is we will deplete the available pool of teachers in less affluent countries. Our gain, if you can call it that, is made at the expense of another country's loss. Effectively, we are poaching the best teachers which other countries have trained. Hardly ethical is it?

    Report this comment

    Bad Form

    Thursday, November 12, 2015

  • It was inevitable - we did it to Nurses and now we do it to teachers - we push and push to breaking point until there is a mass shortage of 'local' expertise - we end up having to bring in from abroad - I predicted years ago that we will soon be teaching our children with teachers with English as a second language. - And Trev57 - Please try to understand the true situation with teachers as your comments reek of ignorance - if you don't understand a subject please do us all a favour and not post your comments as you clearly have no idea of this subject.

    Report this comment

    Jonno65

    Thursday, November 12, 2015

  • Sorry DB I wont disagree with all your post, but teachers working 12 hours days generally without a break..haha, pull the other one. Let me know which school this is and ill move my children there right away. You do however hit the nail on the head in regards to poor parenting, too many think schools are there to teach the children basic life skills and manners, whilst its the teachers who suffer from the parents lack of parenting.

    Report this comment

    Jimhow

    Thursday, November 12, 2015

  • I am getting worried I totally agree with DB552.In her last secondary job she worked circa 90 hours per week including weekend duty plus all the abuse as well.

    Report this comment

    francophile

    Thursday, November 12, 2015

  • I am getting worried I totally agree with DB552.In her last secondary job she worked circa 90 hours per week including weekend duty plus all the abuse as well.

    Report this comment

    francophile

    Thursday, November 12, 2015

  • I am getting worried I totally agree with DB552.In her last secondary job she worked circa 90 hours per week including weekend duty plus all the abuse as well.

    Report this comment

    francophile

    Thursday, November 12, 2015

  • The problem here is that we need more teachers but the penny hasn't really dropped that we cannot rely on our system to provide them. As in certain walks of industry the raw materials for highly skilled workers is not available from the UK pool of unemployed so therefore they look abroad.We have imported labour from all over the world to fill jobs that UK citizens don't want or are not prepared to do since the end of the Second World War.Ten years ago I went to the centenary of The Entente Cordiale in London at the French Embassy where M. Chirac said there were 300000 French citizens living in the UK now stick a 0 on the end,.Europeans know when the are onto a good thing as now every hotel in London has its obligatory Spanish receptionist.

    Report this comment

    francophile

    Thursday, November 12, 2015

  • Yes trev, all those holidays they get. It's ludicrous to think that teachers get a raw deal. 13 weeks holiday! I suppose just because they work from about 8 until 8, 12 hour days, generally without breaks, Monday to Friday. Just because most of them put weekend hours in lesson planning. And discount the fact that during the summer break the teachers are there for 'A' level and GCSEs results. Because of those they think it's a raw deal. Ignore the constant criticism of government (all MPs clearly know better), the odd assualt by parents, an occasional murder. Kids out of control don't count, it's the teachers fault and nothing to do with bad parenting. Anyone can teach.

    Report this comment

    Davidbrian552

    Thursday, November 12, 2015

  • I can never understand all this fuss about teachers,its been ongoing now for years,how much money do these people think they deserve,compared to teachers throughout Europe the UK salaries are very good,as far as all this after hours sorting school work is concerned I thought it was off set by all the holiday they get,if there is a shortage of teachers then one has no choice but to look elsewhere, but the thing I can't really understand is,if more kids are getting better results and more than ever go on too university, why do loads of British companies keep saying they need too bring in foreign staff because the Brits arn't up to standard.

    Report this comment

    trev57

    Thursday, November 12, 2015

  • With the government constantly undermining teachers whether they're good or bad. Why an earth would anyone want to become a teacher today? Parents expecting teachers to pretty much everything for their kids as well as teach. Longer hours which now must include breakfast clubs or after school clubs. Ofsted putting their nose in every five minutes and the curriculum changing on the whim of the next education minister to come into parliament. They have no choice but to look to Southern Europe. However, they'll soon find out all of the above and we will be back to square one. Just let teachers teach it's simple...

    Report this comment

    nobbly1

    Thursday, November 12, 2015

  • Ask the parents of one of our local schools how it panned out when they had a temporary Polish woman teaching English. After months of complaining even the head finally admitted she couldnt master the language herself, but her CV showed all the qualifications required.

    Report this comment

    Jimhow

    Thursday, November 12, 2015

  • Part of the problem is retaining teachers but why dont we recruit in the UK ?. Same as Doctors and nurses, for g0d sake when will we get some training programs in place for our own school leavers rather than a short sighted overseas recruitment.

    Report this comment

    Jimhow

    Thursday, November 12, 2015

  • Another issue, certainly within a few schools I know of, is that the academy system has allowed more control over pay increases. One academy in the City has for the last 2 years denied pay increases for at least one member of staff even though they met all targets in the appraisal process. When this was challenged, the staff involved were told that they hadn't met another target that wasn't even set. How can this be fair? When Unions were consulted on one of these cases, the individual concerned was told that it would be difficult to get anywhere as the governors decide on pay rises. Why have an appraisal process if it is no use? Great all these adverts promising x thousands of pounds a year to teach. Along with the pie in the sky figure they quote, there should also be a warning stating that any pay rise is entirely dependent on what else the school fancies spending that money on. I would love the EDP to use it's love of FOI to look at incremental pay increases in academies over the last 3 or 4 years, and compare them to LA schools. I would wager a huge sum that pay increases for staff (the classroom teacher, not the superheads and their favourites) in academies have dropped significantly since the time these schools were LA schools. It will put people off joining the profession when they know that even if they meet the targets given, they still won't get the increase.

    Report this comment

    OldSchool

    Thursday, November 12, 2015

  • I think we all have a rough idea about the reasons why there are shortages, the accent being on the science based subjects here. So what do they do? The usual old mistake of treating the symptom, not the cause. What else do you expect when you get amateurs (politicians) running the show? It's all quick fix nonsense creating more hassles for the future rather than standing back taking a clear headed look and formulating a proper, sustainable plan.

    Report this comment

    Green Ink from Tunbridge Wells

    Thursday, November 12, 2015

  • Yes One Horse Town-but medical professionals from overseas were only needed because of the failure-which persists- to fund enough UK medical school places to meet the demand for medical professionals. We had and have enough undergraduates well qualified to go into medicine but they are turned away-there are ten applicants for every medical school place. We could have all the home grown doctors we need. The same goes for teaching- a graduating with three years of tuition fees and living cost loans to be paid back and then faced with £9K fees and maintenance loan for a year in order to get a non STEM or primary years PGCE-pretty stark decision when every report you read makes teaching look like hell. Plus the deterrents- applicants are expected to show they have experience working with children-where does that fit in studying for a degree and working part time to keep your head above water? It was never a requirement in the past and frankly is irrelevant-everyone knows if they can work with kids, a few weeks trailing a classroom assistant makes no odds. The high flyer, probably with a PhD (and a lot of courage) can maybe take the risk in the hope they will climb the ladder quite quickly. Or those who are pragmatic about long term job security and a pension at the end. I think this is a despicable stunt to cover up the fact that Norfolk has always had a reputation as a penny pinching LEA. It has been out of necessity but it still affects teachers and their attitudes to Norfolk.

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Thursday, November 12, 2015

  • Part of the problem is that teachers are not all in relationships with teachers and the relative scarcity of professional opportunities and the potential difficulty in finding job for the partners of relocating teachers is a deterrent. Geography has a lot to do with it - increasing commuter distances- and also Norfolk's economy.

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Thursday, November 12, 2015

  • Of course Ingo but since Merkel opened the flood gates to supposed refugees wont they all be needed there to teach Syrian children? Seems to me parts of Syria must be completely denuded of fit healthy young men who in other nations at other times might have been expected to take up arms to defend their lifestyle and futures.

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Thursday, November 12, 2015

  • our schools are in a right mess-- tell us something new-- they have been like it for years.

    Report this comment

    ted

    Thursday, November 12, 2015

  • One sad fact people dont want to accept. Not everyone wants to move to Norfolk and live and work here.

    Report this comment

    Realistic Rob

    Thursday, November 12, 2015

  • Why limit ourself to Greece, Spain and Portugal when Syria's schools have been bombed inoperable? How about opening our arms to excellent Syrian teachers who want to make a new life for themselves in Europe? As long as these teachers speak perfect English this should not be a problem, I know that given the chance to apply hundreds would want to come. Off course, they would not sing up to one year contracts.

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Thursday, November 12, 2015

  • This again misses the point. Recruitment isn't the issue, retention is the issue. There are hundreds of experienced, effective teachers in Norfolk who have vowed never to set foot in a classroom again. We can get teachers from anywhere but, until there are some drastic improvements to the education system, we won't get them to stay.

    Report this comment

    Jon

    Thursday, November 12, 2015

  • Meanwhile total silence from a plethora (part of the problem) of ineffectual teaching unions. When junior doctors threatened strike action, instigated and communicated by their union, the government came up with a pay deal that teachers could only dream about. Having said that if you are seen by a consultant the chances are that they or their parents came to this country from an Asian country under the same circumstances.

    Report this comment

    One Horse Town

    Thursday, November 12, 2015

  • You don't "train" people for Norwich Research Park You educate them. Same as all higher education-education is the apposite word. Not training. You train sandwich makers and dogs. And you don't get 4A* A levels and Oxbridge or top Russell group STEM degrees being taught by teachers who have been trained by colleagues in schools that according to Ofsted are failing like nine pins and giving cause for concern. Joyce should resign now. A simple golden handshake and assistance with housing for the first year would have brought teachers to the region.

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Thursday, November 12, 2015

  • So will they ,as do applicants to the best UK PGCE courses, have a minimum of a 2.1 ? Sure? Or will they, like too many teachers who qualify from a school base rather than a university department, have a scrape of low grade A levels ( if that) or a foundation degree and then a tin pot degree from a tin pot university? Money on a plate to train in schools instead of the rigour of a university education department-second rate training by anyone's standards. Will the schools have been able to carry out record and character assessments that they can rely on and check CVs as they can with UK graduates-big fat no on that one , same as locum doctors. If Norfolk had really tried and offered bursaries they could have had NQTs-this is a PR stunt. The county needs quality experienced staff UK trained.

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Thursday, November 12, 2015

  • Saw this coming It will be India next. Total disgrace, graduates have been priced out of teacher training by the cost of getting a PGCE-especially non STEM subjects where there are no bursaries- and they are deterred from teaching by the constant irrational beatings the profession has been getting from politicians merely furthering their own careers and potentially feathering their own nests. The teaching unions have failed to defend the education of children from the measure the pig style of education imposed on them and failed to defend their members. Parents and the public should be ashamed to have swallowed the accusations of failure which have been based on points of measurement which are pulled from thin air and changed as it suits the politicians. One of my kids has a good degree but wont go into teaching because of the start up costs and the way schools are now run.She has several friends who are trained teachers still not in teaching posts some years after qualifying . It will be no better for non UK teachers working in Norfolk than UK teachers, the same problems apply as soon as they age and wish to marry someone who can't find a professional post in the region.

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Thursday, November 12, 2015

  • The Government and Ofsted have caused this crisis with their negative denigration of teachers over the past 6 years. They are hell bent on causing a crisis to weaken the state sector and to 'prove' it's failing so that their academy programme can be pushed through and state education put into the hands of private companies. Rubbishing a work force for so long had only ever one outcome and here it is! Even if this recruitment is successful it doesn't tackle the far more serious one of 40% of teachers abandoning teaching in their first 5 years.

    Report this comment

    Sportswagon

    Thursday, November 12, 2015

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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