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EDITIONS
 Sunday, 5 January, 2003, 16:00 GMT
US schools seek to recruit Brits
A boy, disguised for legal reasons, at the Brooklyn truancy centre
Teachers are wanted to work in failing schools
Education bosses in New York are seeking teachers from the British Isles to work in some of the American city's toughest schools.

They will be visiting Scotland, Ireland and England later this month to conduct interviews with teachers interested in transferring to the US.

It is part of a drive to hire 11,000 teachers for struggling schools primarily in run down areas of the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens, the New York City Department of Education said.

Successful applicants will be employed in some of the toughest schools in the US, where violence against teachers is commonplace.

String of attacks

New York education officials said it was the first time they had attempted to recruit staff from Britain.

They are targeting maths, science, English and foreign languages teachers - the subjects where there are also shortages in Britain.

Teachers accepted for the scheme will be provided with temporary accommodation while they find housing and will be given help organising their visas.

But possible postings include the Lafayette High School in Brooklyn where a police Swat team was stationed last week, following a string of attacks by pupils.

Seven students have been taken to hospital in 26 serious fights and assaults in the school since the start of the academic year, an average of one violent incident every three days.

Rising pupil violence

Teachers and administrators have also been beaten and robbed in the stairwells by pupils carrying knives, sharpened screwdrivers, brass knuckles and pool balls knotted into slings.

City officials have dispatched special security teams to seven schools in New York this year because of rising pupil violence.

British schools have attempted to fill gaps by employing teachers from overseas, mainly from Commonwealth countries, but also some from the US.

The Department for Education and Skills in London said there was now a "global employment market" for teachers and a world shortage of teachers.

"In recent years we have worked to make our teaching profession the best in the world," a spokesperson said.

"This has been reflected in our recruitment and retention rates which continue to improve."

  WATCH/LISTEN
  ON THIS STORY
  Kate Fawcett reports
"Maths, English and foreign language teachers are being targeted."
See also:

07 May 02 | Americas
11 Mar 02 | Americas
21 Nov 01 | Education
03 Oct 01 | Americas
28 Sep 01 | Education
22 Sep 01 | Mike Baker
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