TRIPS to South Africa and New Zealand to find more foreign teachers have been planned by education bosses after those already hired were mostly found to be a success.

Teachers are being hired from overseas to stave off a staffing crisis. County education boss Alan Mander said at a meeting of Buckinghamshire County Council's heads and governors panel on Tuesday that there had been a problem with a few overseas staff, but eight out of ten had been good or excellent.

Chesham High School deputy head David Knowles said a Canadian they have in the English department, Lindsay Sommers, had been very good.

He said: "We recruited her through an agency and she's on a one year contract with us, though she may stay another year. She's been very good.

"We are really very pleased. It's been a very positive experience. We would certainly consider doing it again."

He added: "It's a measure of the seriousness of the situation when you cannot recruit an English teacher and you find you have to go abroad, but we are certainly glad we did, and she has worked out to be excellent."

The school's experience contrasts sharply with Cressex School in High Wycombe. Its chairman of governors, Dr Katy Simmons, said teachers from Jamaica, South Africa and Australia, who the school had recruited through an agency, had no commitment.

Dr Simmons said: "Overseas recruitment has been a complete disaster. I cannot think of anyone we have had success with."

Her remarks were a more outspoken echo of those made in the school's Ofsted report.

Ofsted praised the school for turning itself around and coming out of the category of having serious weaknesses. But inspectors said the non full-time staff were not committed and were the ones mostly responsible for poor teaching.

Dr Simmons told the Free Press that one overseas teacher at Cressex told the Ofsted inspector she could go home any time she wanted.

She said: "She told him she really didn't care what he thought. She didn't need to be there and she didn't need to put up with him inspecting her."

Cressex was given about £40,000 by the government to help its recruitment problem for last September as part of £700,000 for the county.

The school went to agencies to recruit overseas staff and did not manage to take any from a Buckinghamshire LEA recruitment drive in Canada, which brought in 21 young teachers.

All the overseas staff at Cressex have now left though there are 80 foreign teachers still working in the county.

Steve Edgar headteacher of The Amersham School, Stanley Hill, said he found teachers from overseas were brilliant. Currently he has an Australian and Canadian teacher who he found easily adjusted to the system. He said he though those from areas found adjusting to the system harder.

The recruitment trips are planned to New Zealand next month and South Africa in April.