More turn to teaching in recession

BRITAIN'S economic downturn has resulted in a massive increase in the number of enquiries to teacher training in Suffolk, it has emerged.

BRITAIN'S economic downturn has resulted in a massive increase in the number of enquiries to teacher training in Suffolk, it has emerged.

The Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA) has revealed an 81 percent rise in enquiries to teacher training in the county.

Graham Holley, Chief Executive of the TDA, said: “Teaching is an increasingly popular career choice for those seeking a fresh opportunity and that certainly is the case in Suffolk. During these challenging economic times, teaching offers a competitive salary and job security, coupled with great opportunities for progression.”

Last nightthe NASUWT teachers' union said it was good news for the county, especially because many teachers in Suffolk are reaching retirement age.

Keith Anderson, national executive member for NASUWT in Suffolk, added: “I am not surprised because you find that in a recession people are losing their jobs in industry and the financial sector. People will turn towards what they find more secure, jobs in the public sector such as teaching and nursing.”

But he also warned that schools were still struggling to recruit.

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“While these are people applying to go into training it is for the future, and it does not resolve the issue at the moment, where schools are still finding it difficult to recruit the right teachers, particularly in subjects such as science and maths.”

Rosalind Turner, Suffolk County Council's director for children and young people, admitted there had been a “significant” and “encouraging” increase in enquiries for initial teacher training and in the recruitment of qualified teachers.

She added: “We still need to encourage even more applications from appropriately qualified and skilled individuals to take up places in shortage subjects like maths and physics and particularly in the secondary sector. And in fact there are still vacancies for the term beginning September 2009 in a number of subjects including science, maths, design & technology, modern foreign languages and ICT.”

Anyone wanting further information about teaching in Suffolk should contact Eddie Casey on 01473 583532.