Education sector facing teacher recruitment crisis, suggests report

There are reduced opportunities for NQTs seeking their first appointment, according to the report from Teacher Tapp and SchoolDash

A new report suggests that the education sector is facing a teacher recruitment crisis in the aftermath of Covid-19.

Musical Chairs: Understanding and Tackling COVID-19 Disruption to the Teacher Recruitment Market, co-researched by Teacher Tapp and SchoolDash with support from the Gatsby Charitable Foundation, was created from analysis of year-on-year job advertisement data and survey responses.

The report shows that there has been a reduction of more than 5,000 advertised posts in secondary schools alone, with more teachers staying put. The report suggests that whilst this could provide workforce stability to disadvantaged schools with a higher turnover, it reduces opportunities for NQTs seeking their first appointment, risking losing them from the sector permanently.

“It is important that this cohort of new teachers, whose own training was severely disrupted, are supported into roles at schools who continue to experience staffing disruption caused by shielding teachers,” it said in the report.

With the main teacher recruitment season of March to May being disrupted this year, the report suggests that there is an increased chance of teachers leaving at the interim resignation deadlines of Christmas and Easter, causing further disruption to schooling.

Schools should be financially supported to recruit at a short-term supernumerary basis for the upcoming academic year

At the start of June, teachers reported their plans for September. Compared to June 2019, there were large falls in the numbers who were either moving school or taking up a new post in the same school. There was little fall in the proportion of headteachers who are moving school or taking up a new post in their school this year, however the number was slightly higher for heads planning to leave teaching (from 4% in June 2019 to 5% in June 2020).

Jenni French, programme manager at Gatsby Charitable Foundation, said schools need to be financially supported to recruit more teachers for September.

“Those struggling to find teaching appointments for the coming school term, will inevitably include shortage-subject teachers we can ill-afford to lose,” said Jenni French, programme manager at Gatsby Charitable Foundation.

“Schools should be financially supported to recruit at a short-term supernumerary basis for the upcoming academic year. This will increase capacity in the system to mitigate against likely higher than normal teacher absences in September caused by sickness and social distancing measures.”

Read the report

Read our guide to UK teacher recruitment and retention

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