Tollbar Academy and Cleethorpes Academy welcome teachers from Canada
SIXTEEN teachers have crossed the Atlantic from Canada to teach at two local schools.
Tollbar Academy and Cleethorpes Academy have recruited the teachers this year, primarily to fill national shortages in maths and science, but also other subjects including English and music.
It is the third consecutive year that Canadian teachers have arrived at the two schools, which officials say "adds to the multicultural feel of the academies".
They have also welcomed teachers from Columbia, Spain, Iraq, Cuba, Australia and Sri Lanka in recent years.
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David Hampson, chief executive of the Tollbar family of academies, the organisation which both academies are members of, said: "The recruitment of overseas teachers has been invaluable at both academies.
"Sharing of resources and expertise between the two is now a proven strategy that has brought increased success for both."
Arriving for her first day teaching PE and biology at Cleethorpes Academy, Megan Cameron, 24, from Lucknow, Ontario, said: "This is my first visit to the UK. I want to gain experience in my career and experience a new culture at the same time.
"The people of Cleethorpes and Grimsby have been really welcoming. Everything has gone incredibly smoothly so far and I am really looking forward to teaching here."
Most of the Canadians have arrived on a youth mobility scheme visa, which runs for two years, although teachers of subjects for which there are shortages can access longer permits.
Some Canadian teachers at the academies are now entering their third year.
They are all recruited through a campaign in June every each year to fill any late vacancies or boost teacher numbers so that class sizes – currently never more than 27 – remain small.
Mr Hampson says that working together between the two schools, which have nearly 3,000 pupils between them, is the key to their success.
He said: "It is important that we utilise the expertise we have at Tollbar Academy to raise the standards of education at Cleethorpes Academy. The exam results at both academies this year show this is a proven and extremely successful strategy.
"Promoting teachers between the two schools gives them the opportunity to advance their careers and helps prevent the brain drain this region has always suffered from.
"But primarily, it gives us the opportunity to identify and reward the very best teachers which, in turn, gives the pupils the greatest opportunity to succeed."