THE ONLY PLAN THE GOVERNMENT NEEDS TO ADDRESS THE TEACHER SUPPLY CRISIS IS TO CHANGE ITS POLICIES
Commenting on the Public Accounts Committee Report on teacher supply, which highlights that the Government has no plan to address its failure to meet its targets for teacher recruitment, Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union in the UK, said.
“There are no surprises in this announcement.
“The NASUWT has been presenting evidence of the deepening teacher recruitment crisis for some time but the Government is in denial.
“There is no mystery about why the Government is failing year on year to meet its recruitment targets. Quite simply its policies are making teaching unattractive and uncompetitive when compared with other graduate professions.
“Starting salaries 20% below other graduate professions, a pay system which fails to guarantee even outstanding teachers progression to higher levels, excessive workload and the undermining of the professional status of teachers by removing the requirement for schools to employ those with qualified teacher status, are all key barriers to recruitment and indeed retention.
“Unless these are addressed urgently the supply crisis will deepen. Almost two thirds of the newly qualified teachers they have managed to attract are now seriously considering leaving teaching altogether.
“The only plan the Government needs to address the supply crisis is to change its policies and start to value the teaching workforce by recognising and rewarding teachers as highly-skilled professionals and providing them with working conditions which enable them to focus on teaching and learning.”
WHAT NEWLY QUALIFIED TEACHERS SAY
An NASUWT survey carried out in March this year of over 1,000 newly qualified teachers gives a clear insight into the drivers of the supply crisis.
87% did not think teachers’ pay is competitive with other occupations.
79% added that they knew of individuals who had been put off a career in teaching because of the levels of pay.
57% would not recommend teaching as a career.
90% identified excessive workload as an issue.
80% reported experiencing more stress in the last twelve months as a result of their job.
75% said the job was impacting negatively on their health with nearly half saying it had affected their mental health.
61% were seriously considering leaving teaching altogether.