THE FIRST TEACHER to take advantage of rent-free accommodation to ease their move to a post at a Moray school has moved into her new home.
Moray Council teamed up with Springfield Properties in a unique partnership that is aimed at attracting more teachers to the region – thereby easing teacher recruitment difficulties that has been a major issue in Moray.
Earlier this year Springfield revealed that 10 of their new properties would be placed at the council’s disposal – believed to be the first partnership of its type at a Scottish local authority.
On learning that children could be sent home because of a lack of teacher cover, the accommodation offer was made by Springfield chairman Sandy Adam who came forward with the offer of six months’ free accommodation to new recruits.
Now Gillian Elliot has been handed the keys to a two-bedroom flat in Elgin where she will be able to live rent-free for six months. Gillian, 23, takes up her teaching post in the technical department at Milne’s High School in Fochabers on Monday after two years teaching in Glasgow.
Gillian admitted that it was the accommodation offer that drew her to Moray, saying: “Starting a new job is daunting enough in itself without the additional pressure of finding somewhere to live. It is a great opportunity to get teachers to come to the area.”
Moray Council have seen a significant increase in the number of applicants for teaching posts since the announcement of the Springfield agreement, with the director of education and social care, Laurence Findlay, saying: “Previously we were getting just a handful of applications for some posts – now we are typically getting well into double figures.
“Although Gillian is the first to take up the offer of accommodation, there has certainly been a very encouraging rise in the number of teachers applying for posts in Moray and that seems to have coincided with Springfield’s very generous offer of free accommodation for six months.”
Sandy Adam added: “We are delighted to welcome Gillian to Moray and to her new Springfield home. It’s good to hear that the number of teachers applying for posts in Moray is rising.
“Moray is a great place to live and work and we have extended the offer until Christmas with the intention of helping more teachers to make the move.”