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Thursday, 30 January, 2003, 11:16 GMT
New York chases British teachers
Bronx school
Teachers are needed across New York
Head hunters from New York are interviewing British teachers they want to recruit to work in some of the United States' toughest schools.

The city is short of 11,000 teachers needed to work mainly in poorer areas such as the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens.

And British agencies are helping to recruit teachers for Florida and Alaska.

But Britain has its own teacher shortage.

Sophie Baker
Art teacher Sophie Baker : "Teachers are paid for extra-curricular work"
The New York education officials are targeting British teachers to teach maths, science, English and foreign languages, subjects where the British teacher shortage is most severe.

The UK teacher supply agency Timeplan has struck deals with school boards in Florida and Alaska to recruit teachers from the UK.

Timeplan spokesman Barry Hugill says it is all part of the growing global market in teaching and the recognition of the profession.

"There is always the argument that you are stealing teachers but the reality is that when teachers realise they have freedom to move around, the job becomes more attractive," he said.

He said his agency had been inundated with calls since it advertised for teachers to work in Florida.

Under the scheme for New York, teachers would be given temporary accommodation and help in organising their visas.

Sophie Baker is a British teacher working at a school in Manhattan on an exchange scheme.

In Britain if you cover because a teacher is away, you don't get paid for it

Sophie Baker, art teacher
She says conditions in US schools are very different.

"In Britain if you cover because a teacher is away, you don't get paid for it, it's done out of love of being a teacher.

"After-school activities, you do it because you love it.

"Here, you get paid for it, which is great."

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

A survey by a teachers' union last year estimated that about 10% of teaching posts in London's primary and secondary schools were being filled by teachers from overseas.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Emma Simpson reports
"New York education bosses are doing the hard-sell in London"
See also:

05 Jan 03 | Scotland
28 Aug 01 | Education
30 Oct 02 | Education
24 Jan 02 | Education
07 May 02 | Americas
11 Mar 02 | Americas
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