Hard sell follows past failures

3rd November 2000 at 00:00
"THE warm fuzzy approach has gone. Now they're going for the hard sell."

The pound;7 million campaign takes a very different approach from the Government's previous crusade to attract recruits to teaching, according to Neil Coburn, a director at a major London advertising research company.

Although the "No one forgets a good teacher" campaign, launched in 1997 won a string of awards for advertisers Delaney Lund Knox Warren, numbers of teachers recruited actually dropped by 16 per cent in the period 1996 to 1999.

Mr Coburn suggested the emotional approach may have made existing teachers feel valued but did not attract new recruits.

Solving the teacher shortage problem is all about capturing the "aspirational market" - making people want to be teachers rather than simply admiring them - according to Giles Hedgr, planning director at the advertising agency JWT. He said: "People think 'Yes we all remember good teachers, but we can also remember leaving schoool and not wanting to go into teaching."

Mr Hedger said large showcase campaigns were not enough. "The Government needs to think about teaching as a product and sow positive messages about it into society.

"People need to be persuaded that teaching has real rewards and credibility. That means thinking about all aspects of teaching - career progression, pay and the challenges of the job and thinking about presentation all the time, not just through specific campaigns."

"One way of doing that is talking to TV programme-makers. Firefighters have London's Burning and the police have The Bill. Teaching could do with an equivalent which makes it seem sexy."

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