Oxford City Council will consult with school heads over the coming weeks to review a housing loan scheme that helps local teachers purchase homes in Oxford and continue working in the city.

The council set up the Teachers Loan Scheme in partnership with Catalyst Housing in 2014 in response to the difficulties schools in deprived areas of the city were experiencing in recruiting senior members of staff.

It offers low interest loans which bridge the gap between the price of a property in Oxford and what an applicant can afford by way of a normal commercial mortgage.

However, there have only been two loans given out from eight applications.

In reviewing the scheme, the council will repeat the exercise it carried out in the early stages of the scheme where head teachers and their senior management teams were interviewed on staffing issues and access to housing. The council is open to considering ideas to vary the loan criteria and improve take-up.

Cllr Marie Tidball, Board Member for Young People, Schools and Public Health, said: “The scheme came about as an innovation in response to the difficulties that local schools in the educational attainment programme were facing in recruiting and retaining key staff, and it was shaped by strong input from head teachers.

“In keeping with that original engagement with stakeholders, we are going back to talk to staff in schools to find ways to improve take-up through reviewing criteria.”