Co-op schools group targets new NI teachers

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A chain of academy schools is hoping to recruit teachers in Northern Ireland to help tackle a shortage of staff in England.

The Co-op Academies Trust, which operates 12 schools in Leeds, Manchester and Stoke-on-Trent, will hold recruitment events in Northern Ireland, where it says there are more newly qualified teachers than jobs.

The Trust, which has announced plans to treble in size by 2022, will offer a benefits package to successful candidates.

Frank Norris, director of the Co-op Academies Trust, said: “We have vacancies across our various academies and because we are part of the Co-op we can offer benefits not usually associated with teaching.”

Benefits will include discounts at Co-op stores, some relocation costs and interest-free loans to cover the deposit on a rented property.

The current academies supported by the Co-op have more than 10,000 students and employ over 1,000 teachers and support staff.

As more schools join the Trust, those numbers will grow to more than 40,000 students and 4,000 staff in four years’ time.