desperate heads try to get them young

The sheer stress of running a poorly staffed subject area is putting off many potential applicants for senior roles

AS a newly-qualified maths teacher Graham Bastock, 28, is very hot property.

With schools struggling to find maths, science and modern language teachers, heads are now recruiting trainee teachers long before they qualify. Mr Bastock starts teaching at Heart of England school, Coventry, in September after completing school-based training in Solihull.

As schools vie for their services, NQTs have choices their predecessors could only have dreamed of. He applied for three jobs and was immediately offered interviews for all three. "I felt marvellously in demand," said Mr Bastock. "I could practically choose which school I wanted to go to. Of three maths teachers training on my course two, including myself, had jobs by March."

He accepted a job at Heart of England after enjoying his teaching practice there. A well-structured career development and induction programme coupled with teaching to A-level, meant the school had the edge on others trying to attract him.

"I already knew some of the staff and pupils through teaching practice and thought the school was fantastic. It provided a foundation for future development and there was scope for taking on more responsibility," he said.

Playing one school off against another in the hope of getting a better deal was not something that Mr Bastock wanted to do and he cautions others against it. "I don't think it is fair to do that even in today's job market."

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