Recruits discover Scottish bypass

18th June 1999 at 01:00
SCOTLAND holds many attractions for the overseas visitor - rolling glens, mist-covered islands, endless whisky distilleries.

Now teachers from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa have discovered one more: it offers the quickest route into English schools.

No tedious detour north of the border is actually required for those visitors who take a shine to the bright lights of London but need to earn a crust. All they have to do is to register with the Scottish General Teaching Council.

That confers the automatic right to teach in England. Otherwise, teachers from outside the European Union must gain qualified teacher status via the Teacher Training Agency's graduate teacher programme - despite the demand from heads in hard-to-recruit city schools.

The dodge has left the Scottish GTC feeling used and abused, and fuming over "fraudulent or at least cynical" applications.

"We welcome enquiries from people who genuinely wish to teach in Scotland," says its exceptional admissions secretary, Ian Clark. "But we're anxious to avoid cynical applications from people who move to London, apply to register here but have no intention whatsoever of setting foot on Scottish soil."

Around 230 Australians are expected to register in Scotland this year, compared to little more than 100 in 1997. New Zealand applications look set to top 100 for the first time, and South Africans to hit 150 - triple last year's number.

Mr Clark would like to see them sign a declaration of intent to work in Scotland. Unfortunately the GTC's lawyers have ruled that out, saying say the council must accept anyone whose qualifications meet Scottish requirements.

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