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Austrian staff in demand

AUSTRIAN graduates are in demand in English schools because of a shortage of teachers who speak two foreign languages.

Schools' preference for Austrians has emerged during a charity project to help ease the shortage of language teachers by recruiting foreign nationals.

More than 40 graduates from France, Austria, Spain, Japan and Colombia will join 30 schools in September as part of a project run by the independent languages charity, the Centre for Information on Language Teaching.

Teresa Tinsley, the charity's programme manager, said: "Austrian graduates are particularly popular because not only do they have extremely good English but they can often offer Frenh, Spanish or Italian as well as German."

Under the charity's scheme, funded by the Government, schools get an extra member of staff who can teach two modern languages for free.

In return the school must give the trainee every Friday off for training and provide them with a mentor, who gets a pound;1,000 allowance from the charity.

This is the second year of the pilot scheme. The first cohort of 20 trainees found it difficult to adjust to the tough pilot schools in London and the South-east and five dropped out in the first term. However, 11 qualified at the end of the first year and seven went on to be newly-qualified teachers at their training schools.

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