What do you believe is the solution(s) to resolve the teacher retention crisis across England?
This was a question I posed to my readers as new data has emerged, highlighting the challenges across the profession. I was inundated with replies …
What people are saying?
Below is a summary of the responses to this question. Over 95 people responded with some common themes:
- Government making decisions not based on pedagogical evidence
- Teacher salary above inflation
- Fund schools so that teachers don’t have to compensate
- An expectation that teachers work in their own time
- Time to mark and lesson plan during the working day
- Look carefully at schools where retention is the hardest
- Speed up CAMHS referral
- Stop holding teachers to account for things they cannot control
- Certified professional development
- Manage how the media berate the profession
- Ofsted inspections that work for schools
- Prescriptive schemes of work
- How staff are treated within schools
- Reinvest in SureStart
- Stop MATs from dissolving the autonomy of schools
- I could go on … read more about what teachers say are the current issues.
Compare below to this research in 2018 predicting a crisis – 47,000 more secondary teachers required by 2024 to cope with an explosion in the number of secondary school pupils.
What experts are saying?
Blogger John Howson is an authority on the labour market for Teachers. He is the chairman of TeachVac, a free job matching site for schools, teachers, trainees and those seeking to return to teaching.
Readers of this blog will not be surprised that there is more grim news on teacher recruitment. Howson writes:
“The total number of applications at 39,288 falls well short of the 43,300 recorded for September 2021 … Those new graduates under age 25 form the bedrock of those recruited into teaching as a career, and any serious fall is bad news.”
“These numbers mark the end of the first year of the DfE management of the application process,” says Howson. “There need to be more returners and fewer departures overseas.”
What does the latest research suggest?
The NFER has published another excellent report on teacher attrition across England, this time comparing it to the working lives of teachers across the border in Wales.
- Teachers are likelier to leave secondary school classrooms in England than in Wales.
- More teachers work part-time in Wales than they do in England. As a result, they have significantly higher retention rates.
- Teachers in Wales work fewer working hours per week on average.
Retaining teachers to meet a growing lack of supply, plus incressing pupil numbers is a key challenge that the school systems of both England and Wales currently face (NFER). Reducing numbers, squeezed budgets and increasing hours is grim news for us all …