Secondary schools are having a tough time recruiting teachers in order to keep up with the rising number of pupils and the retiring staff. This is despite the annual budget of £21 billion on the teaching workforce. With tens of thousands of teachers leaving the UK’s schools before their retirement age, head teachers are suddenly finding themselves in a dilemma how they can find good quality candidates to fill the vacated posts.
A report reveals that the attempts by the Department of Education to keep the teachers inside the classroom do not seem to work to their favour. This is especially true when it comes to the value for money. Some experts have stated that while the report may be blunt, it is entirely justified.
The report reveals that the government does not really store data when it comes to the demand and supply in the local scene. It also cannot show that whatever interventions it has been doing is causing some positive effects on teacher retention since the results are showing otherwise.
It is clear that the Department of Education seems to be wasting money, scrambling around, and clearly does not have any clear path to tread on when it comes to retention and recruitment of teachers. This is fast becoming a national problem that requires a national solution.
According to the report, a total of 34,910 qualified teachers have left the position for various reasons except for retirement. There has also been a notable 4% falls in the number of secondary school teachers in the country. In a survey, 85% of leaders in the secondary school system think that they are not really being extended enough government support in terms of retaining high-quality teachers. About 67% stated that the workload of the teachers has remained a barrier to keeping them in their profession. In addition, 97% of those surveyed revealed that cost remains a huge obstacle when it comes to improving the workforce quality.
Many schools have only filled their vacancies with those teachers that have the right expertise and experience. One in ten cases, these posts are never filled. There are differences in the statistics across the country too. The northeast seems to have the smallest proportion in terms of schools that report at least one opening at 16.4% compared to the 30.4% of schools along the outer London area and 26.4% for the south-east.
Those who are experienced in the educational system such as Peter Gale Nonsuch know too well that having enough teachers, who are high-quality ones, is crucial for the school system to operate effectively. This is an issue that the department needs to urgently attend to. The DfE has responded that significant sums are being allocated on teacher recruitment. These funds are especially going to be targeted to schools where retention is an issue. In addition, it is also being used to make it easier for vacancies to be advertised.
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