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Monday, April 12, 1999 Published at 15:11 GMT 16:11 UK


Teachers offered free housing

Hull council needs to recruit more teachers for September

Teachers are being offered free housing by a local education authority as part of a recruitment campaign.

The education authority in Kingston-upon-Hull, which has some of the worst test and exam results in the country, is offering two years' free accommodation to new recruits.

But this will not mean teachers enjoying luxury accommodation at council taxpayers' expense, as the free housing will be on a council estate which the council admits has had an "image problem".

The government's drive to reduce class sizes in the first three years of primary school means that Hull needs 23 new teachers to begin in September.

[ image: A national recruitment crisis continues in teaching]
A national recruitment crisis continues in teaching
This demand for extra staff and the national recruitment crisis in teaching means that Hull city council needs to encourage many more applicants than in previous years - prompting the offer of rent-free council housing for new teachers.

The council says this will allow teachers from outside the area to delay the expense of moving house or having two houses at once.

"This is an innovative strategy between two city council departments to bring talented teachers here," said a council spokeswoman.

The free council housing will be on an estate which in the past has had a mixed reputation - although the council says that its problems are "more image than reality".

Hull's attempt to recruit more teachers is the latest in a series of campaigns to tackle the difficulties in finding new teachers.

The government has sought to overcome the acute shortages of maths and science teachers by offering a "golden hello" of £5,000 for new recruits.

A television and cinema advertising campaign has also attempted to persuade young people to consider a career in teaching. But there have been few signs so far of an upward trend in applications for teacher training courses.

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