AN MP is returning to teaching following a call from the government for help in schools hit by staff shortages.

Eastbourne MP Caroline Ansell, a former teacher before she was elected in 2015, will work in classrooms on Fridays during January and February.

In an exclusive interview with Conservative Friends of Education, Ms Ansell has called on other former teachers to join her and cover lessons when staff become unwell.

It follows a call by Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi for ex-teachers to sign up to help with Covid-19 staff shortages at the beginning of this year.

Ms Ansell said: "Just the day after I sort of let it be known that I would be putting myself forward, this one of my local schools called and said 'come and work with us'.

"I know schools are pretty stretched and so I have said you know obviously French is my teaching subject but I'll step into whatever the situation requires."

She added that she is willing to teach any age, class and subject, and do "whatever it takes" to keep schools open.

Ms Ansell said that he hopes by the end of February or beginning of March the situation will be in a much better place.

"I think although it's been an extraordinary time coming through the pandemic, I think society now recognises just how central schools are to life, you close schools and everything falls over," she said.

During the interview she spoke about how her mother's career in teaching was what got her started in the profession.

She also talked about the importance of learning languages and her passion for them and shared her thoughts on how languages can help us be a truly "global Britain" and prepare children for the international stage.

Ms Ansell said her work as an MP will be unaffected by her return to the classroom, with the Commons usually not sitting on Fridays.

Stephen James, the founder of Conservative Friends of Education, and a qualified teacher said: “Caroline is leading from the front and there is no doubt that any school would be lucky to have her on staff.

"I hope former teachers will answer the call to Get Into Teaching to help with staff absence.”

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