Teacher shortage in Kent forces search on Social Media
Kent County Council is struggling to find enough experienced teachers for their schools, that they have decided to turn to Facebook as a way of recruiting them.
The Council has launching a UK-wide search for teachers as part of a campaign designed to address a growing shortage of experienced educators in the ‘Garden of England.’
The campaign, entitled ‘Your Perfect Kent Day,’ is aimed at high flying teachers and launches amid concerns that pupils in the county are missing out to their London peers, because teachers are increasingly drawn to the higher salaries offered by the capital’s schools.
Kent needs more experienced male and head teachers as well as specialists in art, languages, English, maths, chemistry and biology – particularly in the east of the county.
Between September 2010 and 2011, 1,433 teaching posts were advertised. centrally. Between 2011 and 2012, that grew to 1,680, and the figure is expected to rise again for the 2012/13 academic year.
There are 16,190 female staff members in Kent primary schools, compared with just 1,521 men. Last year 251 leadership posts were advertised. With a large number of head teachers approaching retirement, this figure is expected to grow still further.
The campaign asks teachers to post their idea of a ‘Perfect Kent Day’ on a specially-designed Facebook page. Other Facebook users are asked to ‘Like’ each story and the one with the most ‘Likes’ wins a trip to Kent. Winners will record a film about their experience, and the material will be edited into a short film and hosted on YouTube, while selected footage will be used for online video adverts.
Kent County Council has the largest education department in the UK, with just over 14,000 teachers responsible for 300,000 students across 600 schools. One recruitment headache for Kent is its proximity to London. Higher salaries and the capital’s transport network attract more teachers, even though the quality of life and cost of living in Kent is better.
Andrew Wilkinson, chief executive at TMP Worldwide, said: “We want qualified teachers from all over the UK to consider the benefits of re-locating to Kent. The Garden of England offers career progression and a variety of opportunities from working at smaller village primaries to diverse urban secondary schools.”
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