SCOTTISH teachers are being headhunted to work in the south-east of England. Kent County Council has begun an online recruitment drive targeting teachers in Scotland to encourage them to consider relocating.
The campaign is UK-wide, but the council said Scottish teachers were among the country’s “greatest exports”.
The county has the largest education department in the UK, with just over 14,000 teachers responsible for 300,000 students in 600 schools.
But the local authority has a growing shortage of male and experienced teachers, as well as those who teach art, languages, English, maths, chemistry and biology.
The number of teaching posts advertised by Kent County Council grew from 1,433 between September 2010 and September last year to 1,680 for the following year. The figure is expected to rise again for the 2012-13 academic year.
Kent primary schools have 16,190 women staff members and only 1,521 men.
Last year, 251 leadership posts were advertised but, with a large number of headteachers said to be approaching retirement, this figure is also expected to increase.
The recruitment campaign, Your Perfect Kent Day, is aimed at experienced teachers in Scotland looking to “export” their skills and knowledge, and claims they will have a higher standard of living in Kent, known as the “garden of England”.
Created by recruitment company TMP Worldwide, the campaign asks teachers to post on Facebook their idea of a perfect Kent day.
Other users of the social media site are encouraged to “like” each story, and the people whose posts get the most votes will win a trip to Kent.
During the visit, winners will have to record their experience with photos and film. The material will be edited into a short film and hosted on YouTube, while selected footage will be used for online video adverts. The winners will also be asked to promote Kent as a place to live and teach.
Andrew Wilkinson, the chief executive at TMP Worldwide, said: “This campaign is a brave departure from traditional teacher recruitment. We want qualified teachers from all over the UK to consider the benefits of relocating 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.”
Samantha Vandersteen, the recruitment marketing officer at Kent County Council, said: “Kent is tackling the shortfall in experienced teachers head-on with an innovative campaign designed to get teachers from across the UK to think again about Kent. We want teachers to imagine living and working in Kent and then turn the dream into a reality.
“We’re breaking the mould with this campaign. Instead of going to market with a tired message placed on overused ad platforms, we’re trying something new to give people a real glimpse of what their life could be like in Kent.”