Highland fling urged for English

28th January 2005 at 00:00
You take the high road, and 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 such as this which the Scottish Executive hopes to plant into the minds of teachers in England with the latest in its series of recruitment adverts in this week's TESS (page 8).

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

Rather than promoting traditional stereotypes of Scotland, the advertisements highlight the material advantages for school staff who make the move to Scotland.

The first pointed 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 advertisement in the Teaching in Scotland series is illustrated with two graphs (TESS last week). 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 exaggerated. Earlier this month, it emerged that a former storage cupboard in an Earl's Court townhouse in west London had sold for pound;130,000, despite being only 10ft square.

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, the Education Minister, has said he hopes the campaign will help the country to reach a target of increasing its number of teachers to 53,000 by 2007.

However, the Scottish advertisements 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 is trying to take teachers from London. They should grow their own.

"There are many reasons why teachers might prefer London. It's a world city of huge cultural interest." Ms Valentine conceded, however, that the capital was "probably not the best place for hill-walking".

Further information is available on www.teachinginscotland.com

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