Teach Portsmouth Recruitment Fair looks to attract teachers into city’s schools

ALMOST 100 potential teachers have attended a recruitment fair.

Wednesday, 12th February 2020, 6:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 12th February 2020, 3:11 pm

The Portsmouth Education Partnership (PEP) hosted its largest ever Teach Portsmouth recruitment fair on Tuesday.

The event at Charter Academy in the city saw potential teachers speak with more than 20 exhibitors including primary, secondary and post-16 teacher training providers.

One visitor exploring the possibility of teaching was James Lowry, 29, who was running a recruitment agency.

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Mike Stoneman, deputy director of children's services, hopes the initiative can help attract teachers into those subjects where there is a shortfall. Picture: Sarah Standing

He said: ‘My whole family are teachers and it would be nice to be in a profession where you can make a real difference.’

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Teach Portsmouth also wants to recruit former teachers back into schools.

Former teacher Natalie Goodson, 34, is looking to get back into the job. She said: ‘I was a GCSE dance teacher for three years before moving out to Dubai.

James Lowry, 29, is considering a career in teaching. Picture: Sarah Standing

‘The most rewarding aspect of the job was seeing children really develop.

‘I’m here today to find out how to get back in after 10 years out of education.’

Portsmouth Teaching School Alliance and Essential Teaching UK offers a path into teaching for people considering a second career.

One of the alliance’s successful graduates was Mike Richard, who was at the fair. Now in his third year as a teacher at Portsmouth Academy he did not start teaching maths until he was 55.

The Teach Portsmouth Recruitment Fair was looking to attract new and returning teachers into the profession. Picture: Sarah Standing

Mr Richard said: ‘I used to work in the defence industry.

‘On a good day teaching can be incredibly rewarding. I had a lesson today which was very challenging and I wasn’t sure some of the children would get it.

‘Seeing their faces when they actually did solve the task was truly amazing.’

Maths, sciences, modern languages and religious education vacancies need to be filled in secondary schools.

Primary schools need more maths and science teachers.

Fiona Calderbank, executive headteacher at Miltoncross Academy, added: ‘Portsmouth mirrors the national situation where there’s a real shortage in the sciences, maths and English.

‘We host people on taster sessions and find it really gets them hooked.’

PTSA course director Lynn Nicholl has overseen 130 teachers into Portsmouth schools. She said: ‘To succeed you need to have a real passion and love for your subject as well as being a good communicator.’