Kent tries to lure Scotland's finest teachers


Kent County Council, which has the UK's largest education department, is trying to recruit Scottish teachers to help fill hundreds of posts.

The local authority is hoping to entice teachers to relocate in the South East with the promise of a better quality life in the “garden of England”.

Its online recruitment drive, My Perfect Kent Day, is UK-wide but the council described Scottish teachers as among the country’s “greatest exports” and wants them to fill vacancies in both primary and secondary schools.

It cited a shortage of secondary staff teaching a range of subjects including English, maths, languages, chemistry, biology and art. 

Between September 2010 and last September the number of posts advertised rose to 1,680 from 1,433 and is expected to increase again for this academic year.

Last year 251 leadership posts were also vacant but that number is likely to
rise in the next few years as many heads near retirement.

Kent employs about 14,000 teachers across 600 schools, with responsibility for 300,000 pupils.

The campaign invites teachers to post their idea of a perfect Kent day on Facebook. Those that get the most votes from other users of the social media site will win a trip to Kent, which they have to record with film and photographs. Selected footage will appear in online video ads and the winners will also be required to promote Kent as a place to live and work.

Andrew Wilkinson, chief executive at TMP Worldwide, which is running the campaign, said: “The garden of England offers career progression and a variety of opportunities from working at smaller village primaries to diverse urban secondary schools.”

Samantha Vandersteen, the recruitment marketing officer at Kent County Council, said: “Kent is tackling the shortfall in experienced teachers head-on with an innovative campaign designed to get teachers from across the UK to think again about Kent. We want teachers to imagine living and working in Kent and then turn the dream into a reality.” 

A spokesman for the teaching union, the Educational Institute of Scotland, said: “Scottish teachers are some of the best trained and qualified in the world, and it is understandable that other countries are keen to recruit them.”

Alan McKenzie, depute general secretary of the Scottish Secondary Teachers’ Association, said he “rather doubted” that teachers would be going south in droves but said it was gratifying to be targeted.


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