By Rory Reynolds
UNEMPLOYED teachers in Scotland are being lured south of the border with the promise of secure jobs and better wages.
Specialist recruitment firm Uteach has launched a major campaign to find Scots teachers jobs in the south of England, with perks including pre-paid flights.
The Coatbridge-based firm is also placing teachers at schools where they will receive cash boosts and up to £1,500 in rent allowances.
Kathleen Brennan, director of Uteach, said: “We are the only teaching agency in Scotland. But before now we haven’t actually dealt with Scotland.
“Scottish teachers previously haven’t needed to move, but there are so few posts now.
“It is a shame for them at the moment, they are given a full probation year but they aren’t kept on.”
As part of the firm’s campaign they fly teachers to England for interviews, where headteachers have greater autonomy, can choose their own staff, and can award bonuses to teachers trained in maths of science of up to £4,000
The offer is appealing to the increasing number of Scots teachers who are unemployed and stuck on supply lists.
Newly qualified computing teacher Debbie Keith from Glasgow, considered quitting the profession to manage a Pizza Hut, when she found a job at a large comprehensive in Oxfordshire.
The 26-year-old said: “I was having a nightmare in Scotland. After three years of looking and being on the supply list I almost quit teaching completely
Debbie said: “I was having a nightmare in Scotland.
“After three years of looking and being on the supply list I almost quit teaching completely because I couldn’t get a job and was being offered a management job in Pizza hut.
“Coming to England was a big move, quite daunting.
“I still can’t believe I did it, but now I really like it.”
However Labour schools spokesman Ken Macintosh said that while he understood teachers were moving away to get work, more teaching posts should be provided to stop the exodus to England.
He said: “I am unhappy that newly qualified teachers are being poached for the south of England when we should be employing them in Scotland.
A spokesman for the Scottish government said: “Scotland has a world-class initial teacher education system and it is no surprise that other countries may attempt to employ out probationer teachers.”