Town hall staff seek refuge in teaching

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The Independent Online

A dramatic increase in the number of public sector workers switching to teaching as a career is revealed in figures published today. They show the number signing on for courses has more than tripled in the past year to nearly 200.

The increase is even more significant when compared to 2008 when just eight public-sector workers wanted to make the change. The rise is being put down to public spending cuts which have seen at least one in four councils in the UK issuing redundancy notices to employees.

New research also published today shows that the three qualities most rated in a new job by public servants are that it should offer a challenge, security of tenure and the chance for promotion. The figures, released by the Training and Development Agency for Schools, also show that the number of public bodies signed up to send staff on the transition to teaching programme for would-be recruits to the classroom has also risen – from 49 two years ago to nearly 300.

The TDA expects a boost in the number of inquiries for teaching jobs in the new year. Most councils laying staff off as a result of public spending cuts are setting a 31 March deadline for redundancies.

Nick Gibb, the Schools minister, said: "Teaching is a hugely rewarding and challenging career. The evidence from around the world shows us that the single most important factor in raising standards in schools is the quality of teachers, and that is why we are committed to attracting more great people into teaching."

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