Kent County Council guarantees Irish teacher jobs

Secondary school class Kent's secondary schools are short of English, maths and science teachers

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A shortage of English, maths and science teachers has led Kent County Council (KCC) to guarantee jobs for 25 newly qualified teachers from Ireland.

Kent's education director Patrick Leeson said secondary school head teachers sometimes had difficulty recruiting staff in those subjects.

He said Kent had a good supply of teachers from local universities but this would increase the pool available.

The county already has about 200 Irish teachers, he added.

'Difficult economy'

Mr Leeson said teacher training in Ireland was very competitive and candidates often had first degrees and second degrees and went into teaching with qualifications on a par with medicine and veterinary science.

But he said Ireland had a difficult economic situation and many newly qualified teachers there could not get jobs, while Kent had vacancies and offered opportunities for quicker and earlier promotions.

There are currently 87 teaching, 23 leadership and 51 support staff vacancies in Kent.

Last month, Kent had 10,165 teachers - 6,308 in primary schools, 3,263 in secondary schools and 594 in special schools.

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