More recruitment on the up in Suffolk

IT IS good news for schools and students as there are no problems with teacher recruitment in Ipswich, The Evening Star can today reveal. As children go back to school this week unfilled teacher vacancies in the town, a problem in the past, is not the issue it once was for Ipswich schools according to headteachers and the Local Education Authority-Suffolk County Council.

IT IS good news for schools and students as there are no problems with teacher recruitment in Ipswich, The Evening Star can today reveal.

As children go back to school this week unfilled teacher vacancies in the town, a problem in the past, is not the issue it once was for Ipswich schools according to headteachers and the Local Education Authority-Suffolk County Council.

Council spokeswoman for education Moira Jackson said the latest figures, showed a reduction in unfilled vacancies.

She said: "There were 53.7 vacancies compared to 66.5 vacancies last year at the beginning of the summer term in April.

"We will not have any figures for this term until October."

Ms Jackson accepted there may be some problems for schools in recruiting staff but the shortages experienced in recent years were not apparent in the town this year.

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She said: "We cannot ever be complacent and some schools will find it difficult to recruit certain posts but there does not seem to be the problems there were three years ago.

"There are lots of initiatives to encourage people back into teaching. It can be difficult to recruit for some senior posts. Teacher recruitment is something we look at all the time."

Martin Goold, county secretary for the National Union of Teachers (NUT), welcomed the news.

He said: "We have not had the final information about recruitment but I understand we are fully staffed from September."

Mr Goold said the new Schools Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT) - centres for teacher training - in Ipswich and Lowestoft had helped ease recruitment problems as they were training people who already lived in the area.

Northgate High School headteacher Neil Watts said he was pleased with his staffing situation.

He said: "There were four or five retirements before the summer holidays and 11 new teachers started this year. We are fully staffed."

Mr Watts said he had to recruit about 8 per cent of his 130 strong teaching staff.

He said: "We have got a string maths department and foreign language teachers are attracted by our specialist status as a language school so we are very fortunate. I have been able to recruit German, Spanish and French teachers.

"There have been no problems with recruitment generally."

Holywells High School headteacher Karen Grimes said headteachers work hard to recruit staff into schools and although the situation is improving some subjects are harder to staff than others and English is one of those.

She said: "English was a subject where there were teacher shortages in the late 1980s and I think it is beginning to be so again."

Holywells, which has a 55-strong teaching staff and about 900 pupils, has recruited ten new teachers to start this term.

Mrs Grimes added: "We are offering more courses and the curriculum is expanding. Fortunately recruitment has been far better this year and we are fully staffed."

Anyone interested in returning to teaching should contact the Teacher Recruitment Service on 01502 405240 for more information.

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