'Here for life' Jamaican teachers hired to work in British schools

'Here for life' Jamaican teachers hired to work in British schools

A UK recruitment firm is mass hiring teachers from Jamaica for British schools.

Geoff Brown is a former Head Teacher and is the current Director of Hourglass Education recruitment agency. Hoping to tackle the application shortage within teaching, he is currently on a recruitment drive.

Brown has already recruited 43 Jamaican teachers who started this September after interviewing them at the Courtleigh hotel in Jamaica. They will work at an academy trust in Hayes, West London. According to the Guardian, 87 others were also signed up previously for the same start date and he is hoping for another 21 to start in January.

Finding applicants is not a problem according to Brown who says: “Endless schools are advertising and not getting any applicants whatsoever. There are two options: you go down the age-old route of hiring anyone who is warm and breathing, or – the more savvy – go overseas. Increasingly, schools are doing that.

“The prize places are Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa and Jamaica. In my experience, those from Australia and New Zealand want to come over for a year, travel around Europe and take a month off for Christmas to go home. You get a Jamaican, he or she is here for life.”

Jamaican teachers experience different lives to those in the UK as Brown explains. Teachers in Jamaica have 60 children in every classroom and their salaries are a fifth of UK teachers. He says: “These teachers speak English, teach in English, their GCSEs are based on our GCSEs, and their CAPE qualification is similar to our A-level. Increasingly, heads are turning to us. And we are turning to Jamaica.”

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