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Agency plays fame game

The latest ploy to attract recruits is a poster campaign featuring a 'famous faces' quiz. Karen Thornton reports

DO you know what the man who created London's sewerage system looks like? And if so, does that make you a prime candidate for teaching or your local pub quiz team?

The Teacher Training Agency is hoping the former, as it launches its latest pound;250,000 recruitment campaign - a frustrating game of "name the famous faces".

Pictures of 48 authors, artists, sports stars, scientists, inventors, revolutionaries, monarchs, political leaders, diarists and existentialists stare out from its latest advertising posters, above the slogan: "Teaching.

It's all about who you know."

Readers are directed to www.canteach.gov.uk, where they can try naming all 48 against the clock. They range from inventor Trevor Bayliss to Transylvanian Vlad the Impaler, and wartime diarist Anne Frank to independence campaigner Mahatma Gandhi.

Players are given a name and description of the person's achievements, then have to click on what they think is the matching face from the randomly displayed 48. Guessing is costly, because each wrong answer reduces your percentage success score.

John Dunford, general secretary of the Secondary Heads Association, gave up in frustration after finding it impossible to pick out Harold Lloyd, an American star of silent comedy movies.

"It drove me round the bend," he said. "Anyone who has the patience to do that quiz should become a teacher.

"They will be a great asset to the profession, both for their general knowledge and their perseverance - which will be bordering on sainthood."

However, John Bangs, the National Union of Teachers' head of education, found it quite fun and felt it would get people thinking.

But he confessed: "I got five with a 100 per cent hit rate, but then for the life of me I couldn't find Emmeline Pankhurst."

The TTA says the campaign, dreamed up by London-based agency McCann Erickson, is its first interactive advertisement.

Geof Webb, the agency's communications and marketing director, said: "It is engaging, stimulating and intellectually challenging - all qualities we look for in the next generation of teachers if we are to help every pupil fulfil their potential."

www.canteach.gov.ukSir Joseph Bazalgette, British civil engineer, created London's sewerage system

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