There was a time when the Government could dig into the PIT (the pool of inactive teachers) when it encountered shortfalls in student-teacher recruitment.
That strategy is much less effective than it was, but the PIT's seam is by no means exhausted. The Higher Education Funding Council for Wales believes that a large number of qualified secondary teachers who are currently outside the profession could be tempted back if only they were offered the right incentive.
It is therefore funding the Extending Skills Programme, which is designed to give former secondary teachers the guidance, competence and conidence they need to apply for subject posts. The pilot project, which was limited to 10 applicants, has just finished and its organisers, the Open University in Wales and the University of Wales Aberystwyth, are now planning to develop the programme next year.
"It will include a minimum of five school-experience days, and generally provide an update of knowledge and experience," a spokesman for the two universities said last week. "We will also offer advice on CVs, letters of application and interview technique."
The Open University in Wales: stand 162 Further information: tel 0292 0397911