The Guardian is reporting that Sir Michael Wilshaw has warned the country is facing a “teacher brain drain” at a time when schools across the country are already struggling to fill vacancies amid rising pupil numbers.
…In his regular monthly commentary as head of the schools watchdog, Ofsted, Wilshaw writes: “Anyone regularly perusing the job vacancy pages of the education press cannot help but notice just how many of our elite public schools are busy opening up international branches across the globe, especially in the Gulf states and the far east,” he says.
“Two years ago, there were 29 of these overseas franchises. At the end of 2015, there were 44 and the number will rise again in the coming months with several new campuses scheduled to open soon.
“Famous institutions like Harrow, Marlborough, Shrewsbury and Brighton College – to name just a few – are clamouring to meet a growing demand for a ‘traditional’ English education among the burgeoning middle classes of these countries as well as the increasing number of British ex-pats who have relocated there…”
To address the teacher recruitment and retention crisis, Wilshaw once again called for financial incentives to ensure trainees start their teaching career in areas where they are needed most. “As far as I’m concerned, that means Barnsley not Bangkok, Doncaster not Doha, and King’s Lynn not Kuala Lumpur.”
He continued: “Is it fair that the offspring of overseas oligarchs are directly benefiting from UK teacher training programmes at the expense of poor children in large parts of this country?
“Is it unreasonable to ask someone who has been trained in our system to make a contractual commitment to teach in that same system for the first few years of their career?
“I would, therefore, once again urge policymakers to consider the idea of some form of ‘golden handcuffs’ to keep teachers working in the state system that trained them for a period of time.”
Teachers’ leaders welcomed Wilshaw’s intervention, and made their own suggestion that the government should write off teachers’ university tuition fees as an incentive to keep newly qualified teachers in English state schools…
Read Sir Michael’s comments in full at: HMCI’s monthly commentary: February 2016
Your thoughts on this intervention into the teacher recruitment crisis from Sir Michael?
And what of his suggestion for there to be some kind of golden handcuffs or financial incentives to encourage those trained in our system to remain working here, especially in areas most in need?
Please give us your feedback and reactions in the comments or via Twitter…
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