Teacher recruitment ‘a pipeline leaking at both ends’

Tes reports that teacher recruitment is “a pipeline leaking at both ends”, the NAHT heads’ union has said, after it published a survey laying bare the scale of the recruitment and retention crisis.

The survey of 800 school leaders shows that for the fourth consecutive year respondents are reporting a problem with recruitment across all roles. 

Almost two thirds (61 per cent) of teacher vacancies were reported as difficult to fill, while respondents failed altogether to recruit to 18 per cent of roles. And one third (33 per cent) of respondents blamed budget pressures for their failure to recruit teachers – up from 9 per cent in 2014.

Nick Brook, the NAHT’s deputy general secretary, said: “Despite four years of warnings by NAHT the recruitment crisis continues unabated.”

The survey found particular difficulties with recruitment for middle leadership roles. For posts carrying a teaching or learning or special educational needs coordinator responsibility, only 17 per cent of roles were filled with ease. NAHT members reported difficulty recruiting 61 per cent of these posts, and in 23 per cent of cases were unable to recruit altogether.

The main reasons given to explain why schools struggled to recruit included the quality of applicants in the area (cited by 64 per cent of respondents) and an overall shortage of staff in the area (cited by 50 per cent of individuals).

A Department for Education spokesman said: “In spring 2018, we will launch a workload reduction toolkit, providing school leaders, governors and teachers with practical tools to help them remove unnecessary workload. This will include specific support for teachers in the early part of their careers.”

Read more Teacher recruitment ‘a pipeline leaking at both ends’

Can you see the ‘workload reduction toolkit’ helping? Is your school having a teacher recruitment problem? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

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