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Scotland - Border flow both ways, say Scots

The scottish Government has hit back at suggestions that more Scots-trained teachers are heading for work in England because jobs have dried up at home.

Figures from the General Teaching Council for England indicate that more than 1,000 teachers from Scotland have been approved to work south of the border during the past four years. There was a 25 per cent rise last year alone, from 248 to 307.

Irked by claims that this pointed to a waste of money and talent, given the annual #163;85 million bill for training teachers in Scotland, education secretary Michael Russell released figures which revealed that more teachers from England have been registered to teach in Scotland in the past four years - 1,585 from 200609.

Mr Russell, who has recently been on a tour of North America to promote Scotland, said: "Even Ontario, with its highly successful education system, trains more teachers than it uses. There will always be a flow of this kind north and south of the border, and I wouldn't want to disrupt it. It would be illegal to do so."

Government figures show there are fewer teachers on benefit in Scotland than elsewhere in the UK - 5.6 per 1,000. This compares with 8.8 in England, 10 in Wales and 12 in Northern Ireland. The number has more than halved from 720 last August to 295 in February. NM.

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