Teachers put off by teaching
It seems almost impossible now to click onto the TES news, the UKs biggest teaching forum, and ‚ÄòNot‚Äô find an article on how much teachers are struggling with the workload or how ‚Äòdesperate‚Äô schools are to recruit new teachers. I have to admit that even as a peripatetic teacher, the workload can be horrendous. The very first article of March 2016 in TES news, relates to the statistics of heads recruiting teachers, but relates to all of the stresses that come with the job. Has teaching become too paperwork based, rather than focussing on what the true aspect should be? (Which surely is passing knowledge onto the children and preparing them for the big wide world). Classroom practice seems but a mild fragment of what teaching actually consists of, with ticking government boxes playing a bigger role in the profession. Take a look at this article and see if you agree or disagree with the aforementioned.
Nine out of 10 heads are struggling to recruit teachers, research shows
1st March 2016 at 00:15
Nearly three-quarters of school leaders say the recruitment situation is worse now than it was a year ago
Nine in 10¬†secondary schools are struggling to recruit teachers, according to new research¬†that lays bare the extent of the teacher recruitment crisis.
A survey of nearly 900 school leaders¬†by the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) found that 89 per cent said they were ‚Äúexperiencing difficulties‚Äù in recruiting teachers.
And 73¬†per cent said the recruitment situation was now worse or much worse than it was a year ago.
Heads told the ASCL that¬†shortages had forced them to use non-specialist teachers, merge classes and make greater use of supply agency staff.
Last week Ofsted chief inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw warned¬†that teacher supply was¬†‚Äúreaching situation critical‚Äù. Sir Michael said new teachers should be given golden-handcuffs deals to prevent them from leaving¬†the country for international schools¬†as soon as they qualified.
One headteacher, responding to the survey, said: ‚ÄúThe only way we‚Äôve been able to provide a teacher for every maths class is to ask teachers of other subjects to step into the breach.
‚ÄúThis is hardly ideal ‚Äì¬†I have a non-specialist teaching one of the Year 11 maths sets, for example ‚Äì¬†but there simply aren‚Äôt the teachers out there to be able to fill the gaps.
‚ÄúNaturally, we‚Äôre very concerned about the impact on our maths results this year.‚Äù
‘Extra stress and workload’
Of those questioned, 87¬†per cent said recruitment problems were creating extra stress and a higher workload for staff, and 84 per cent said they¬†were¬†having a detrimental impact on pupils‚Äô education.
The worst shortages were in maths and science, where 78 per cent and 75 per cent respectively said they had struggled to find teachers.
Heads also reported shortages in other critical English Baccalaureate¬†subjects such as English, languages and geography. Extra teachers will be required in these subjects¬†to meet the government‚Äôs expectation that 90 per cent of students take GCSEs in five ‚Äúcore academic subjects‚Äù by 2020.
One in four schools has¬†merged classes as a result of teacher shortages, the survey found. Seventy per cent of respondents said they were using more supply teachers and 73 per cent said more staff were teaching subjects in which they were not specialists.
Malcolm Trobe, the ASCL‚Äôs interim general secretary, said: ‚ÄúWithout this supply of teachers there is a danger that some of the progress which has been made will be lost. It will certainly be extremely difficult if not impossible to raise standards further.
‚ÄúWe are calling on the government to do more to promote and incentivise teaching as a career. We would be very happy to work with ministers on an action plan.‚Äù
The union has said teacher shortages will be the ‚Äúmajor focus‚Äù of its annual conference, which takes place in Birmingham on 4-5¬†March.
A spokeswoman for the Department for Education said: ‚ÄúAs part of our drive to achieve educational excellence everywhere, we want all schools to be able to recruit high-quality teachers.
‚ÄúThe government is investing hundreds of millions in teacher recruitment, offering generous bursaries and scholarships in science, technology, engineering and maths¬†subjects, plus backing schemes like Teach First and the National Teaching Service to get great teachers where they‚Äôre most needed ‚Äì¬†and that’s why we‚Äôve given schools unprecedented freedom over staff pay, allowing them to attract the brightest and the best.
“We are committed to raising the status of teaching and want to work with ASCL and the profession to make it an attractive career choice.
‚ÄúThis is our best ever generation of teachers, and Ofsted results show that children in England continue to have the best chance they have ever had of attending a good or outstanding school. This is in no small measure thanks to the professionalism of teachers and their quality of teaching.‚Äù
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Andy T (fellow teacher and blogger)