Last week a TESSecondary Heads Association survey showed up to 10,000 secondary posts remain unfilled in Britain, where 10,000 teachers have been recruited from abroad in the past year. However, France and Germany may soon overtake Britain in the shortage stakes, due to their ageing teacher populations. Vacancies in Germany are expected o rise by more than 50 per cent in the next three years.
Traditionally Britain has recruited from English-speaking Commonwealth countries. But education ministers in South Africa and Australia say that their teachers are needed at home.
The numbers pale into insignificance, however, when compared with the need in some developing countries. India is planning to hire a million teachers to cater for the 120m children who don't go to primary school.