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Tackling teacher shortages – Aussie teacher placements

Romford Principal Stuart McLaughlin is tackling ‘head-on’ teacher shortages in the London Borough of Havering by flying out this October to Australia – where there is a surplus of teachers – to recruit qualified antipodean staff for his Borough’s 94 schools.  English, maths and science teachers for the Borough’s secondary schools and main scale primary teachers will be top targets.


Stuart McLaughlin tackling teacher shortagesDeparting in October, Stuart will be flying out from Heathrow to Brisbane for eight days – courtesy of recruitment and retention specialist Supply Desk (trading as Teaching in Australia). He will meet a pool of candidates with a minimum of a Bachelor of Education Degree pre-vetted by its Australian recruitment team. A formalised matching process will be set up to enable Stuart to identify candidates suited to the specification given to him by each school in Havering, followed by a Skype interview with the leadership team of the relevant Havering school for those that are successful. 


Appointed overseas candidates for Havering will be invited to live with local families to help them to integrate well into school and community life. 


Clare Othman, Managing Director of Supply Desk Ltd, said, “When asked to identify the advantages of overseas recruitment, school leaders reported that international recruits brought different perspectives and experiences to school, which helped to diversify the staff profile, introduce new content and texts to subjects and broaden students’ horizons. These were perceived as secondary positive outcomes, rather than the primary motivators for recruiting teachers from abroad. The main advantage was that a previously unfilled post was filled by a subject specialist.


Stuart, who is Principal of Bower Park Academy, Romford, will be charting his innovative journey in a video diary and will also be producing engaging 8-9 second video clips on his progress for use on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.   


Female teacher reading to classroomCommenting on this innovative approach to recruitment, Councillor Damian White, Leader of Havering Council, said, “Partnering with Supply Desk is an important strand of Havering’s recruitment and retention strategy which seeks to attract the very best teaching staff to Borough from across the UK and abroad to enrich its’ talent pool.


“Our schools have reported that it’s getting harder to attract the right candidates, so earlier this year we also launched a campaign to promote Havering as a great place to live and work.”  Please click on the link to see the video Living in Havering


“It has the benefit of being in close proximity to London, whilst also having award-winning parks and great cultural facilities.  It is also one of the more affordable places to live in Outer London.


“We are very much looking forward to welcoming a new team of strong candidates to enrich our growing teacher cohort.”

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