UK recruiting teachers from overseas to fill rural positionsBy esljoblinks I Teaching - Other I 0 comment
A local authority is recruiting teachers from abroad to tackle a problem with filling vacancies at its most rural schools.
Aberdeenshire Council – which is advertising more than 90 posts – said it has over 60 teachers from overseas.
Highland Council also revealed five of its 16 advertised posts had been vacant for more than three months.
Meanwhile, probationers – thousands of whom seek jobs each year – are also being lured to work in England.
Fresh concerns were raised last week by head teachers about the availability of jobs for newly qualified teachers in Scotland.
The issue also brought another worry over teaching into focus.
Rural and remote regions of Scotland – including the Highlands, Aberdeenshire and the islands – continue to struggle to recruit staff.
More than 100 teaching vacancies are being advertised in these areas.
Teachers’ unions have said it was not always easy for new teachers to move from other parts of Scotland to work in rural areas because of family commitments.
Aberdeenshire Council advertises and has sent officers abroad to recruit staff.
It currently has more than 60 overseas teachers from countries such as Australia, Canada, the USA, the Netherlands and South Africa.
Bruce Robertson, Aberdeenshire Council’s director of education, said the north east authority was getting to grips with recruitment – partly by seeking staff from abroad.
He said: “Recruiting teachers is a challenge for the more rural areas in Aberdeenshire.
“But we have been proactive in our recruitment initiatives, which include overseas recruitment, and as a consequence have made great inroads into the number of vacancies we once had in parts of rural Aberdeenshire.”
Highland Council said nine of its 16 vacancies currently advertised were accessible to new teachers.
Three of the 16 posts have been vacant for a month and five for more than three months, but less than six.
Meanwhile, one of its jobs – head teacher for Knockbreck and MacDiarmid primary schools on Skye – is offered at a higher rate of pay than would be for a similar position elsewhere in Scotland.
A salary of £44,370 and £1,122 remote allowance have been made available.
Each year, thousands of new teachers seek employment following their guaranteed probationary year.
Concerns about finding work is a theme running on teachers’ forums on the internet.
Postings on a forum on the Times Educational Supplement (TES) website included worries about securing probation at schools in Aberdeen as a result of the city council’s financial difficulties.
New teachers are encouraged by peers to seek employment with Aberdeenshire, Moray, Angus or Highland.
Another thread on the forum discusses the greater chance of employment in England.
The TES Scottish jobs section carries vacancies for 260 classroom teachers, 26 head of departments and 31 special needs teachers.
London alone has positions for 223 classroom teachers.