DfE urged to act faster on recruitment and retention crisis

A leading headteacher has urged the government to act faster to reduce workload, increase school funding and improve the accountability system to tackle the recruitment and retention crisis. Tes reports.

According to the president of the NAHT headteachers’ union, Andy Mellor, the pressures were like a “three-headed dragon” that was turning the dream job of teaching into a “nightmare” for many school leaders.

Speaking today at the NAHT’s primary conference, Mr Mellor will say: “On a good day, teaching is the best job in the world. The trouble is, there are not enough good days. As a result, too few graduates are choosing teaching as a career and too many experienced professionals are leaving the profession prematurely.

“Nine out of 10 primary and secondary schools are facing real-terms funding cuts. An overhaul of the way Ofsted plans to inspect schools is being rushed through. And workload has never been higher, thanks to year after year of government changes. This is the three-headed dragon that is turning a dream job into a nightmare for many school leaders and their teams.”

For the first time, the NAHT has asked its members for solutions to the recruitment and retention crisis in schools. The most common answer was for the government to deliver “a real-terms increase in school funding”, which was cited by 82 per cent of respondents; three-quarters wanted a “better work-life balance”; and 63 per cent called for a less punitive accountability system.

The NAHT will produce a full report on its survey of heads early next year.

In his speech, Mr Mellor will say: “All of these issues are too big for schools to fix on their own. We know from our conversations with the government that they are well aware of all these problems, and some progress is being made, especially on workload, but now we have to move forward faster and with more purpose on accountability and funding.”

Read more DfE urged to act faster on recruitment and retention crisis

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