Teacher recruitment – We need to spread the word about how great this job is

When I was a deputy, I can remember sitting down with the headteacher to begin the sifting process for a teaching position that had been advertised for our school. We had over 200 applications. The Primary Head writes in Teachwire.

Using a sophisticated system of Post-it notes, we separated the applications into three categories: ‘strong’, ‘OK’ and ‘no way’. After several hours, we managed to whittle them down to a shortlist. 

Fast-forward to the present day and I’m lucky to get 20 applications. Heck, I’d settle for 10. I’d just like the opportunity to do some whittling, as opposed to being presented with a ready-made shortlist.

But, speaking to other headteachers, there does seem to be a lack of folk wanting to apply for teaching positions.

Maybe it’s because people know they don’t need a teaching qualification anymore. They can just rock up to the nearest school that either doesn’t want, or can’t afford, a qualified teacher and be in with a chance of getting a job.

Perhaps Ofsted and SATs are to blame? You could be forgiven for thinking that these two facets of education are the single most important elements of primary education.

But now, there are all these research papers out there that say marking is a total waste of time, so all the rookies out there now perceive marking to be something that goes against the UN convention and they refuse to do it.

Likewise planning, creating resources, using data, keeping your book corner tidy, attending a staff meeting for longer than 25 minutes, and missing your PPA time because of an Inset.

Or maybe it’s the fault of headteachers who allow Ofsted and SATs to dominate the school agenda and don’t actually respect the work-life balance of their teachers; those who grasp at the lowest common denominators when it comes to school improvement.

So how are we going to cure the teacher shortage crisis? Well, the government isn’t going to do it and neither is Ofsted. It’s going to be down to the profession itself.

Read the full article Teacher recruitment – We need to spread the word about how great this job is

Ofsted? SATs? Marking? Work-Life balance? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

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