Australian ire at 'poachers'

16th March 2001 at 00:00
The New South Wales state government has warned it will retaliate against Britain poaching its teachers if significant numbers accept the recruitment offers now being made.

Recruiting officials from agencies in Britain are currently travelling around Australia tempting teachers with promises of work in UK schools at salaries of pound;104 a day, with airfares and removal expenses paid.

But, with Australia facing its own teacher shortage, state education minister John Aquilina reacted angrily to the promotion.

"Hands off our teachers," Mr Aquilina said."If they (recruitment agencies) keep it up we will retaliate."

He said New South Wales might resume a recruiting campaign last undertaken in the 197s when the state targeted British teachers with posters (see right) showing a suntanned teacher wearing a mortar board, cloak and swimsuit under the slogan, "Teach in the sun".

"British education authorities often send foreign teachers to the worst schools where facilities and discipline are not nearly as good as in Australian schools," Mr Aquilina said."Our schools are better resourced, safer and have far more active involvement by parents - and the climate is better."

Currently, however, the flow of teachers from Britain is four to one in New South Wales' favour. Mr Aquilina said that last year 350 teachers arrived in his state from Britain whereas only 84 local teachers went to England.

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