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Fancy stat

Much of what has been written about the PIT - pool of inactive teachers - concerns "returners". But what about departures? One source of new entrants into the PIT is those who take jobs in education that require a teacher's skills but are outside the maintained sector.

Judging by The TES in one week of January, these jobs seem to fall into three categories: independent schools, overseas schools, local authorities and other bodies with posts requiring a teacher's expertise.

January is a key month for recruitment, so it's not surprising to find about 1,000 such posts advertised in a single week. Of these 500 were teaching posts in the independent sector, 400 were for overseas, jobs and 100 were authority posts or similar.

About 10 per cent of posts in independent secondaries at home and overseas were for maths and information and communications technology teachers. ICT advisory posts were common among the local authority ads. Were maths and ICT recruiting to their initial teacher-training targets, the loss of 100 teachers in a week might not be a problem for the state sector. But with training numbers not hitting the targets, further outflows can only compound the problem.

Some overseas posts and independent-sector jobs will go to teachers already working in such schools. And some teachers will be returning to the country. Even so, any leakage from the maintained sector will dolittle to relieve the staffing problems in some schools.

e-mail john.howson@lineone.net

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