£30k for European graduates to teach in Norfolk and Suffolk

Norfolk and Greece Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption Suffolk and Norfolk Initial Teacher Training says it is targeting graduate recruits from Italy, Portugal and Greece

Graduates from Greece, Portugal and Italy are being offered up to £30,000 to train as teachers in maths, sciences and languages in Norfolk and Suffolk.

Suffolk and Norfolk Initial Teacher Training (Snitt) said it had to be "proactive" to attract the best into teaching key shortage subjects.

Trainees will sign a "declaration" agreeing to stay for the two years.

Hilary Buckey, for the National Union of Teachers, accused it of "plundering" talent from Southern Europe.

Graham White, of Suffolk and Norfolk NUT said he had no problem with recruiting teachers from overseas but was concerned they may only stay for the obligatory two years.

"What's really important from an educational point of view is consistency of approach and also the stability from staff being in a school for a particular period of time."

Paul Law, from Snitt, said, "We can't put a ball and chain around anyone's leg to make them stay for the long term but there will certainly be an expectation they will stay for two years".

The bursaries, which Snitt will also offer to UK graduates, have increased by £5,000 for the 2016 intake.

What will the European students be paid?

  • Graduates with a first class honours in physics will get £30,000
  • Holders of a 2:1 or a 2:2 in maths will get £25,000

Both counties said they have struggled recently to attract teachers in maths, physics, chemistry, computing and modern foreign languages.

James Joyce, chairman of Norfolk County Council's children's services committee, backed the new European recruitment drive.

"This is only one part of the system for getting the very best teachers," said Mr Joyce.

Nikos Savvas, principal at West Suffolk College, said: "As the region's economy grows, with science and technology playing an increasingly important role, the need for inspiring and engaging teachers in these subjects has never been greater."

A Department for Education spokesman said it wanted all schools to be able to recruit "more high quality teachers" in core academic subjects, which was why it had announced these new "generous" bursaries for 2016.

Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption Teacher training partnership is seeking to bring the "brightest and best" graduates from Europe to train as teachers in Norfolk and Suffolk

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