Sharp drop in teacher recruitment

By agency reporter
January 6, 2018

Commenting on the latest UCAS data showing that teacher recruitment numbers have dropped by a third in just 12 months, Kevin Courtney, Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union, said, “We wish the Government would stop using soundbites to manage a very real problem. It is impossible to massage away a drop of nearly a third of applicants and in particular the drop of a third in female applicants. If the Government loses female graduates from teaching we will face a huge problem.

“This situation has arisen through a combination of ill-thought out Government measures. An unacceptable workload driven by accountability measures that treat all teachers as incompetent, in addition to low graduate pay, are not only driving many out of the profession but are also deterring new graduates from entering teaching.

“The confusion surrounding routes into teaching and the lack of any national system of pay progression also need addressing.

“These are real and pressing problems that Government must face up to; sound bites such as ‘more teachers than ever’ will not help. Working practices that have no useful impact on pupil outcomes but are a burden on school staff should stop. The insecurity that prompts activities which are simply a paper trail for accountability purposes must end.

“Pay levels have fallen behind other graduate professions, which is impacting on recruitment and retention. After seven years of real-terms pay cuts due to the Government’s public sector pay policy, the NEU, along with ASCL, NAHT, UCAC and Voice, are calling for an immediate, fully funded, five per cent pay raise for all teachers. Failure to address these issues will result in fewer and fewer people entering teaching and will result in a crisis for the education of our children and young people.”

* National Education Union


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