A DESPERATE shortage of primary school teachers in Western Australia has led to a recruiting campaign in Queensland for the 2008 school year.
Particularly hard hit are Catholic schools in remote areas of the state, but several school principals have said the situation applies across the board.
Now they have invited young teachers in eastern Australia in search of adventure and community to head to the West.
The shortage comes at a time when an oversupply of primary trained teachers has been identified in Queensland at both state and Catholic levels.
Brisbane Catholic Education (BCE) has indicated it has 2234 teachers (1300 primary) on its database who are looking for work. Nearly half of these are primary teachers.
Two schools followed the advice of the director of the Catholic Education Office of WA, Ron Dullard, to run recruiting advertisements in eastern state publications including The Catholic Leader.
One of the schools, St Joseph’s of Kununurra, was advertising for six teachers needed to bring the school’s full staff to nine.
Another school, Our Lady of Mt Carmel in Mullewa, has been advertising for four teachers out of a total staff requirement of five.
The Josephite-run school of Warmun is also desperate to find four teachers to bring their staff numbers back to eight.
Reasons given for the shortage of teachers range from the lure of high wages from the mining boom to the fact that young people sometimes come to outlying areas then leave due to insufficient social outlets or a desire to travel after years of qualifying studies.
BCE employee services director Kevin Twomey said 2234 teachers (about 1300 primary) were registered as looking for work in the Catholic education system at high school and primary school in Brisbane archdiocese.
Queensland’s surplus of primary trained teachers was highlighted earlier this year when Education and Training Minister Rod Welford announced a pilot scheme for primary teaching graduates to become state school special education teachers.