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MORAY COUNCIL COULD be set to recruit teachers from Australia – but fear doing so will come at a heavy price and be only a temporary solution.
The young people and children’s services committee met on Wednesday where the thorny subject of teacher recruitment was again high on the agenda.
In a report to councillors it was revealed that there are actually eight more teachers employed by Moray Council now when compared to a year ago – but the situation has become even more critical, as a total of 27 are on maternity leave.
Education director Laurence Findlay will now meet with recruitment specialists to learn more about recruiting teachers from Australia, where it is reported that there are thousands of suitably qualified teachers currently out of work.
But critically that would come at a cost – put at around £10,000 for each teacher brought to Moray by that route – causing concern for former teacher and Council Leader, George Alexander, who said: “The concern is that if we bring them here they will consider it as a year or two out and then return.
“I find it difficult to justify spending that amount of money, but we are in a position where we have to do something. The kids are losing out while teachers knock their pan in trying to maintain standards.”
Mr Findlay says the priority is to recruit primary school teachers and those for subjects that have been difficult to fill at secondary school level.
He told councillors: “We are going to meet with a recruitment company based in Scotland who tell us there are lots of spare teachers in Australia. There will be a cost associated with that and we have to look at whether that is a viable option for us if they are just going to stay for a year or two.”