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Wednesday, 11 December, 2002, 13:53 GMT
New Zealand lures supply teachers
overseas teacher in London
Many London teachers trained overseas
The New Zealand government is trying to tempt back Kiwi teachers working in British schools - because it has a teacher shortage too.

Teachers from New Zealand and other countries have been employed on a large scale in Britain's schools, especially in London, to ease the teacher shortage.

But now their mother country is offering cash incentives to returning Kiwi teachers and to UK-based teachers.

Returnees are being offered "relocation payments" of NZ $5,000, while UK teachers would get NZ $3,000, plus access to training.

Boost

The teaching employment agency, Select, has been approached to try to recruit staff for New Zealand.

It aims to recruit 70 secondary teachers to New Zealand by May 2003.

New Zealand saw a big increase in the number of children at primary school in the mid-1990s and now needs to boost its number of secondary school teachers.

New Zealand education official Irene Lynch said: "Increased student numbers, along with a recent government initiative to reduce teachers' workloads by funding additional teaching positions, means we have stepped up our recruitment efforts."

David Rose of Select Education says New Zealand's move reflects the globalisation of teaching and other careers.

"I don't think it is a case of New Zealand being worried that their teachers are coming to the UK, it's a tradition that their young people might travel and work abroad for a couple of years.

I went to a tiny school with small classes where children really wanted to be there

Laura Perkins-Ball, teacher
"I think the experience they gain working in different schools here is seen as valuable.

"This scheme is about ensuring they go back to teaching jobs rather than opting to do something else and that they don't have to wait too long to get back to work when they do return."

London primary school teacher Laura Perkins-Ball is heading to New Zealand in February on a working holiday visa but thinks she will probably want to stay.

She plans to work as a supply (temporary) teacher in Auckland at first.

"I went there about three years ago and loved it.

"I went to a tiny school with small classes where children really wanted to be there.

"Here, it is a constant battle to get children into school and then to get them to work.

"That aside, I'm looking forward to getting experience of teaching children in other cultures."

See also:

12 Nov 02 | Education
08 May 01 | Wales
02 Feb 01 | Education
28 Aug 01 | Education
30 Aug 01 | Education
28 Aug 01 | Education
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