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Home and G'day, Aussie teachers head this way to work in the Medway Towns

When given the option of pizza in the Mediterranean or sipping a pint in the Ship and Trade, it was an easy choice for a group of Australian teachers.

As part of a recruitment drive, chief executive of the Greenacre Academy Trust, Andrew Reese, went Down Under to talk to trainee teachers and, despite having the pick of Europe, several chose to come to Medway and work for him.

In fact, eight from the University of Monash in Melbourne are now working within the trust and 18 trainees carried out work experience last November.

Teachers from Melbourne who are keen to start work at the Greenacre Academy Trust
Teachers from Melbourne who are keen to start work at the Greenacre Academy Trust

According to Robyn Johnstone, chief executive of the Education Placement Group and Supply Desk, many more are keen to follow in their footsteps.

She said: “The Australian trainees are given the option of work experience in schools pretty much anywhere in the world but European destinations usually come top of their list.

“They were blown away by their experiences, being welcomed and mentored by the teaching staff and especially the pioneering work that is being done.

The Skills for Life programme is so inspiring and I’m sure they will all take what they’ve learnt and experienced into their own teaching practices.We now have a huge demand for places at the Trust and Medway is definitely at the top of everyone’s list.”

The trust prides itself on its Skills for Life scheme which is a programme that makes sure students are ready for the world of work.

Mr Reese said: “As all head teachers will acknowledge, we have a recruitment crisis in the UK and this was a very unique and possibly pioneering way of recruiting new teachers into the UK school system.

"I think we are a progressive and forward thinking trust giving opportunities not just to a significant number of trainees but also to trust staff in regards to the mentoring of the trainees and to the trust’s pupils who have been enriched by the activities set out for them by our Australian friends.”

Greenacre Academy Trust runs five schools across Medway.

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