I am convinced that all the teaching vacancies could be immediately filled if it were not for council regulations which insist on form filling procedures.
Private schools and headteachers who invite simple letter applications with a CV have no difficulty in finding five or more applicants. The official application forms contain lots of nasties declaring that "if you do not do this your application is unlikely to be considered". What sort of employer is this?
It reminds me of the recent TV documentary showing how civil servants in the BSE crisis were incapable of admitting that the crisis was out of control - because they would not change their existing procedures.
In your vanishing of the Cheshire Cat article it is clear how bad the crisis is, and my observation from making many applications to schools in Cheshire and Staffs is that headteachers are rigorously required to demand application forms and some are so short of cash they ask for a stamped addressed envelope.
My question is simply - when did the time honoured "staff record" become an "application form"? And why don't the county officials make it possible for headteachers to accept a letter of application? Civil servants seem to like a computerised game in which they entertain themselves by devising forms to be filled in.