The Commonwealth supplies a solution

23rd May 2003 at 01:00
I was interested to read David Henderson's article "Desperate search to find cover" (TESS, May 9). The problem is not new but there is a potential solution.

One of my clients, a well-established teacher recruitment agency, has offices in several Commonwealth countries from which it recruits young enthusiastic teachers who wish to further their career by gaining experience of teaching in the UK.

These teachers are very willing to gain experience by spending periods in a number of schools either as day-to-day cover for illness or for longer periods.

A number of Scottish authorities have made use of this service and have reported that the quality of the teachers was very high and that they brought a valuable new dimension to the school. The number of Commonwealth teachers that express an interest in teaching in Scotland far exceeds the number that the company is currently able to place so that there are opportunities for other authorities that wish to explore this solution to their supply teacher problems.

I would be happy to discuss any particular problem and try to come up with a solution designed to meet the particular need.

Ian M Dutton Education Consultant The Meadow Stichill, Kelso

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