Teachers job-hunting or leaving education, say recruiters

New research says many spent New Year looking for a new post, while older teachers are retiring early

Education recruitment provider Eteach has revealed that over 16,000 teachers spent time searching for a teaching role on their site on Christmas Day, with some 30,000 visiting on Boxing Day. Over 50,000 teaching professionals spent the first day of the New Year searching for their next role on the site.

The research comes after a year of stark reports that the education sector is heading for a teacher shortage crisis, with almost 50 percent of teachers claiming they plan on leaving the profession within the next three years and for the third year in a row, the government has missed teacher training targets, meaning that 2,000 places remain unfilled.

Furthermore, recent eteach research revealed that one in three teachers are actively searching for their next role meaning the predicted deluge of teachers leaving the profession could be imminent.

Eteach CEO and founder, Paul Howells, said: “Schools need to be doing all they can to reward and retain excellent teaching talent to make sure teachers feel valued and stay committed to their existing positions. But most importantly, it is imperative that schools have a solid recruitment plan in place with a specialist recruitment partner to ensure they don’t fall victim of the predicted shortfall.”

The teacher shortage crisis is set to affect a number of subject areas, with design and technology being the hardest hit with a predicted absence of 57% trainee teachers.

Meanwhile, classrooms could be set to lose senior staff as the ‘baby-boomer’ generation nears retirement. Research from Randstad Education reveals there is a pervasive societal pressure for older employees to leave the workforce at state pension age – and teachers feel this tension more acutely than average. Nearly four-fifths (79%) of teachers report feeling this pressure, compared to 75% of typical workers. In addition, 36% of employees in the education sector say this pressure is ‘significant’, while only 15% of teachers say they don’t feel this pressure.

A recent report by Pensions Minister Ros Altmann outlines that by 2022 the number of people in the workforce aged 50 to state pension age will have risen by 3.7 million to 13.8 million and the number aged 16-49 will have reduced by 700,000.

Jenny Rollinson, managing director of Randstad Education, comments:  “We have a ticking talent timebomb in our hands, and the flight of the baby-boomer generation from the teaching workforce could leave a gaping skills shortage in our midst.  There’s already quite a war for talent as it is, and this will make it even harder to find the right people for the right jobs. Schools need to hold onto the age and experience in their classrooms for as long as they can, as replacing senior teaching staff after they retire can be difficult.”

What do you think about the teacher recruitment ‘crisis? Do you have any tips on attracting and retaining great staff? Send your comments to the editor.