Teacher-catcher takes to the road

THEY will find them on Brighton's beaches, they will find them on the steam rally show grounds, they will find them on the rugby fields, they will find them in Tescos....

The Teacher Training Agency is taking its battle to enlist the teachers of tomorrow onto the byways of Britain, with a new fully-equipped recruitment bus.

Interested parties are being invited to suggest events and sites where potential recruits can be targetted in August or September.

Venue suggestions include country fairs, supermarket car parks, local carnivals, classic car rallies, the London to Brighton bike race and Gospel concerts.

An agency spokesman confirmed that a bus was "in production" and would be equipped with four computers, internet access, a video screen, a touch-screen system for aptitude testing and a seminar area with whiteboard and overhead projector.

Consultants will be on hand to talk to potential recruits, and here will be plenty of information on training opportunities, subject specialisms, and funding. The bus' tour schedule has still to be arranged.

Nigel de Gruchy, general secretary of the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers, said: "It's a bandwagon, not a bus that is needed. It is a savage indictment of the situation when they have to resort to such stunts."

Doug McAvoy, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said: "It's a measure of the Government's desperation. All its gimmicks have not achieved the necessary result, as schools face a deepening crisis.

"The Government really needs to look at the reasons why young people don't go into teaching rather than going for headline- grabbing gimmicks that achieve little or nothing. The real problems are workload, working conditions, pay, disparagement, denigration and unfair accusations and complaints."

Rowson, 16.

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