Don't get stuck in an English cupboard

28th January 2005 at 00:00
You take the high road, I'll take the low road - and I'll be living in a three-bedroom house surrounded by dramatic glens while you're still stuck in a broom cupboard in London.

It is sentiments like this which the Scottish Executive hopes to plant into the minds of teachers in England with a new series of adverts.

The pound;250,000 campaign takes the form of spoof exam questions which contrast life in the capital with that north of Hadrian's wall.

Rather than promoting such staple attractions as tartan and Irn Bru, the adverts highlight the material advantages for staff who make the move to Scotland.

The first advert points out that teachers in Scotland benefit from house prices that are 35 per cent lower than the UK average. It asks: "If you can buy a beautiful house in Scotland for the same price as a broom cupboard in the South of England, where should you teach?"

Another advert in the Teaching in Scotland series is illustrated by two graphs. One depicts London as a row of grey tower-block-style bars, while the other shows Scotland as a series of green mountains. The caption asks:

"Calculate which is the nicer place to live."

The broom cupboard claim is not as exaggerated as it appears. Earlier this month it emerged that a former storage cupboard in an Earl's Court townhouse had sold for pound;130,000, despite being only 10 by 10 foot.

For the same price a buyer could get a detached three-bedroom house with garage in Invergordon with views over the Cromarty Firth.

Peter Peacock, Scotland's education minister, said he hoped the adverts would help the country reach a target of increasing its number of teachers to 53,000 by 2007.

The Scottish adverts have irritated London First, the campaign to promote the capital. Jo Valentine, its chief executive, said: "I think it's unhelpful that the Scottish Executive are trying to take teachers from London - they should grow their own."

www.teachinginscotland.com

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