Teachers urged to join MI5
MI5 is attempting to recruit teachers as "spies" in a new recruitment drive.

The Telegraph | June 12, 2009
By Graeme Paton, Education Editor

The security agency said teachers' people skills made them "ideal candidates".

An advert placed in a trade paper urges school staff to apply because they can "build trust and relationships with all sorts of individuals".

The post - for an operational intelligence officer - carries a salary of £35,425 plus benefits, broadly similar to that of an experienced secondary school teacher.

Teachers who successfully pass the recruitment process will find themselves taken out of the classroom and into "the heart of intelligence gathering".

According to the job description, they will be responsible for building contacts with people who can "provide information of relevance to national security".

They will also have to write reports and give briefings.

The advert, placed in the Times Educational Supplement, says: "Your experience of dealing with people means you can build trust and relationships with all sorts of individuals, which makes you the ideal candidate for developing a career securing the information we need to protect national security."

According to MI5's website, the agency aims to "frustrate terrorism", and prevent foreign espionage and weapons of mass destruction.

A Home Office spokeswoman said: "There are a wide range of career opportunities available with MI5.

"The organisation advertises in a range of media, including local, regional and national newspapers, trade publications and online media, in order to attract a diverse range of candidates who may have the right skills and experience."