The BBC reports that Government efforts to help schools keep hold of teachers and develop their skills do not appear to be working, the government spending watchdog suggests.
A National Audit Office report shows more teachers leave before retirement than five years ago, and schools are finding it tougher to fill posts. In 2016, nearly 35,000 teachers – 8% of the workforce – left their jobs for reasons other than retirement, it said.
The NAO said that between 2010 and 2016 the number of teachers in England’s state schools increased by 15,500. But over the same period, the number of secondary school teachers fell by 10,800.
A Department for Education survey quoted in the report found teachers and middle-leaders were working a 54-hour week.
Schools are only filling half of vacancies with teachers having the required experience and expertise, it said. It also found local variations in the proportion of schools reporting vacancies. The North East had the lowest percentage of schools (16.4%) reporting at least one vacancy, while the South East had the highest at 26.45%.
The report also found the DfE had not set out in a coherent way, or shared with schools and teachers, how they can work together to improve things for the workforce. The NAO said it previously reported the DfE spent £555m on training and supporting new teachers in 2013-14. In contrast, £35.7m was spent in 2016-17 on programmes for teacher development and retention, with £91,000 of this aimed at improving teacher retention.
A Department for Education spokesman said: “We continue to invest significant sums in teacher recruitment with £1.3bn up to 2020 being invested in teacher bursaries to attract the best and brightest into the profession.
“In addition, we are working with Ofsted to tackle workload and will continue to engage with the profession to better understand the specific challenges and how we can address them.”
Read more Teacher retention efforts ‘not working’
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