Schools ‘struggle to recruit teachers’

Dec 9, 2015 by

Head teachers in England say schools face a deepening problem in recruiting enough teachers.

Schools in England face a deepening problem in recruiting enough teachers, head teachers say.

The National Association of Head Teachers said 59% of schools advertising for teachers “struggled” to get applicants and a further 20% failed completely to appoint anyone.

Russell Hobby, leader of the NAHT, said it was clear evidence of a “crisis”.

But the Department for Education said the number of teachers now stood “at an all-time high”.

The warning, based on a survey of 2,100 school leaders, is the latest about schools trying to recruit and retain enough staff.

Heads blame a negative attitude towards the profession by successive governments and an erosion of teachers’ pay.

Agency costs

The Education Select Committee is investigating the extent of shortages and will be taking evidence on Wednesday, including from Mr Hobby.

“As well as concern about the number of teachers, our research has shown that schools are struggling to recruit people with the right kind of skills,” said Mr Hobby.

This evidence from head teachers also warns of the extra cost from recruitment difficulties, with schools saying agency fees to find teachers can cost £10,000 for a single appointment.

Ofsted last week warned that particularly in more challenging areas, many schools were relying on temporary teaching arrangements to cover for maths and science.

The survey from the NAHT highlighted how high housing costs in London and the South East could cause problems for recruiting teachers.

But Mr Hobby said: “We should be able to expect the government to supply the basics for them to work within – funding, buildings and, of course, enough high quality people.”

‘Market failure’

The heads’ leader blamed politicians for deterring potential recruits with the “volume of criticism” aimed at teachers.

And he described problems in recruiting enough heads and senior staff as a form of “market failure”.

A Department for Education spokesman said: “The number and quality of teachers in our classrooms is at an all-time high.

“We have over 1,000 more graduates training in secondary subjects – and record levels of trainees holding a first-class degree.

“The vast majority of teachers stay in their roles for more than five years, and more than half of those who qualified in 1996 were still in the profession 18 years later.

“The latest figures also show the number of former teachers coming back to the classroom has continued to rise year after year.

“As a result, there are now 13,100 more full-time equivalent teachers than in 2010.”

Source: Schools ‘struggle to recruit teachers’ – BBC News

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