WHEN it comes to Education, Education, Education schools in Cheshire and Wirral are overflowing with teachers.
Officials representing both authorities say they are performing well and have only a handful of vacancies on offer despite a national teacher shortage.
But the National Union of Teachers (NUT) is deeply concerned schools in Cheshire are paving the way for future teacher shortages by insisting on too many short term contracts.
At Oriel School in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, one of the worst cases in Britain at the moment, a four day week has been implemented.
Schools in Derbyshire are also crying out for teachers and unions are calling on the Government to look at the matter.
But a Cheshire County Council spokesman said the local education authority only had seven vacancies among its 289 primary and 45 secondary schools.
In the Wirral council chiefs say there is no problem but have employed a recruitment officer with help from the Department for Education and Employment (DfEE) to keep track of any future difficulties.
Figures released last month showed that up to 40% of teachers were leaving the profession within three years of joining.
The Government admitted at the weekend that there was a problem, despite earlier insisting that recruitment was at record levels.
Les Maxim, Wirral deputy director of education, said: 'We have not got a problem here.
'We are aware that all schools have some problems with subject areas and we understand there is a growing belief that teachers are not staying in the job for long.
'But we have appointed a teacher recruitment officer as part of a DfEE scheme so we can track any potential future problem.
'We have put in place mechanisms to retain what we have got and to recruit in the future.'
Early indications, however, are that as many as 80% of the newly qualified teachers starting in Cheshire schools may be on temporary contracts.
The NUT condemns schools which have done this and will raise the issue with the local authority.
Cheshire NUT secretary Campbell Russell said: 'At a time when there are acute teacher shortages throughout the country, I cannot believe schools are being so short-sighted.
'By definition many of these teachers are young and mobile. Why they should feel any loyalty to a school that shows so little faith in their abilities is hard to discern.
'These young teachers the future of our profession will take their skills elsewhere if they are left in this sort of limbo.'
Mr Russell acknowledged there will be good reasons for taking teachers on temporarily, but finds it hard to accept that in every case the post is genuinely a temporary one.
'If the job is permanent the contract should be permanent,' he said.