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The arrow points to a great lifestyle

Wasn't Nottingham recently praised by OFSTED?

That's right, but before it became a unitary authority two years ago, the city's schools were at the bottom of the national league tables.

The city inherited bad schools with low attainment and poor results. But the new LEA must be doing something right. Two years on, it is showing some of the best improvements nationally in tests for 11-year-olds.

"There's a really good sense that we're all going in the right direction and we're going to build on the success of this good Ofsted," says Andy Irons, Nottingham's head of personnel and training.

Optimism! Great! But any vacancies?

Yes - Nottingham is short of teachers, particularly in maths and English. The city has 101 primary schools, 18 secondary, three ex-grant maintained, six special schools, and four nursery schools.

The LEA has just appointed a new recruitment strategy manager - it's particularly keen to boost numbers of teachers from ethnic minorities in a bid to encourage the aspirations of black and Asian youngsters.

And you'd better sharpen up on your computer technology skills too - Nottingham has just started a scheme which aims to lease every school child a lptop computer.

But life isn't all work and no play?

Now you mention it, Nottingham is a great place to play, with theatres, arts cinemas, classical and rock concert venues. It's very cosmopolitan with a diversity of cultures - in a recent survey it was voted the best city in the UK to live.

Many students from its two universities like it so much they stay on to work there.

Nottingham has lots of fine old buildings - including what's reputed to be England's oldest pub, the Bell Inn. There are caves under one of its main shopping centres, and in October there's the annual Goose Fair which dates back to medieval times.

Surely living in such a swinging place can't be cheap?

Surprisingly, house prices are pretty reasonable. At the lower end of the scale a three-bedroom semi with a garage would be around pound;50,000, but that's ex-council stock on the city's Clifton Estate - pound;100,000 could get you a three-bedroom detached house near the River Trent.

If you're renting, you could pay pound;350-400 for a one-bedroom city centre apartment, and the same for a two bed-flat on the outskirts.

Famous sonsdaughters?

Robin Hood, Maid Marian, the Sheriff of Nottingham.

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