Teacher supply in England is in crisis. There are many causes, but if government does not fix this, children will suffer. Without action, the crisis will worsen as larger numbers of children are entering the school system. Persistent and worsening under-recruitment of trainee teachers over the last decade alongside more staff leaving the profession is creating a national catastrophe.
Last week Department for Education (DfE) figures showed just half of the number of trainee secondary school teachers needed had been recruited and this follows almost a decade of missed targets.
Universities are today launching a teacher education manifesto with a series of 9 proposals to tackle this ahead of evidence today from Schools Minister Rt Hon Damian Hinds MP to the Education Select Committee’s Inquiry into teacher recruitment, retention and training.
The GuildHE manifesto proposes that government, policymakers and wider stakeholders should:
- Provide all teacher training students with a bursary and announce bursary levels two years before students apply
- Provide teacher training students with additional financial support for extra placement cost
- Encourage universities back into teacher training and support them to deliver high quality education in partnership with schools
- Provide teacher training institutions with sufficient funding to cover the costs of delivering teacher education
- Write-off student debt for teachers who teach in state- maintained schools for a particular period of time
- Enable access to ongoing professional development for all teachers
- Ensure all early years educators are on a route to graduate status
- Create a new non-departmental public body to have oversight of teacher supply and quality
- Focus inspection on the continued improvement of teacher education rather than single grade outcomes
Professor Jackie Dunne, GuildHE Executive Committee Member and Vice Chancellor, Birmingham Newman University said:
“The number of teachers in schools in England is in crisis, with problems recruiting and retaining high quality teachers. Universities are central to tackling this. Universities deliver teacher education at scale, taking pressure off schools and grounding teacher education in the evidence of how best to enhance learning for our children and young people.
“We are pleased to launch a series of practical proposals that we believe will make a real impact on recruiting enough teachers and it is crucial that government and universities work together to ensure future supply and retention of high quality teachers in our schools.”