Bending in public

September 19, 1997

Desperation in the quest to counter the crisis in teacher recruitment appears to have reached new depths. The Commons education and employment select committee, already on its second inquiry into teacher recruitment this year, has summoned three distinct interest groups to give evidence next week. Quite properly, the head teachers' associations have been invited.

The Teacher Training Agency has, rather sensibly, again been called to account. But the committee has also called in the Association of Graduate Recruiters - the representatives of the very corporate employers who are tempting young graduates away from the teaching profession. "I think the teacher recruiters want a lesson in public relations from the commercial companies," said AGR chief executive Roly Cockman. But he admits that there is an inescapable hurdle: "The public sector hasn't quite got the flexibility to provide inducements and salaries compared to the private sector."

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