Wilshaw: Schools need ‘idiot’s guide’

The teacher recruitment crisis has got so bad that schools reliant on supply staff should receive an “idiot’s guide” to ensure teachers “can’t go wrong”, a former Ofsted chief has said. Tes reports.

Sir Michael Wilshaw said the government had its “head in the sand” when it came to the recruitment crisis and insisted that such radical action was needed because “we’re never going to have enough teachers”.

Speaking exclusively to Tes, he said: “We’re never going to have enough teachers, we’re never going to have enough specialists, [so] we’ve got to design a system where we can ensure that infrastructure is so tight, that even a supply teacher, even a temporary member of staff, even a newly qualified teacher can hit the ground running.”

The Unicef school-in-a-box contains supplies for a teacher and up to a 40 students, with basic materials such as exercise books and pencils arriving in a locked aluminium box, the lid of which can double up as a blackboard.

Sir Michael said: “We need to create a system – call it school-in-a-box, call it what you will – where the schemes of work, the lesson plans, the resources are there for people to tap into immediately.”

Explaining how his idea would work, he said that when a supply teacher arrived at a school, they would immediately be presented with the school-in-a-box materials by a core member of staff: “‘This is the lesson plan, these are the resources’… Call it an idiot’s guide… ‘You can’t go wrong, this is how you do it, and by the way I’ll come and check that you’re doing it like this.’”

Sir Michael said the radical action was needed to deal with an unsustainable recruitment situation. “We can’t go on as we are at the moment, that’s for sure,” he said. “We’re not going to improve the worst schools in the country, in the most disadvantaged areas with so many supply staff and temporary staff unless we do something like that.”

Read the full article Wilshaw: Schools need ‘idiot’s guide’

What do you think? Has he got a point? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

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Our schools are broke – so why aren’t we talking about it?
Mental health and LGBT+
Categories: Employment and Teaching.


  1. ACook

    I know of at least one school doing precisely what Michael Wilshaw suggests.
    Supply teachers say that it makes the job so much easier!

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