Teacher supply shortages are creating “serious staffing gaps in schools which are undermining the quality of education,” the National Education Union (NEU) has warned


The union said data compiled by the National Foundation for Educational Research reveals that “too few graduates are choosing to train to be a teacher and too many teachers are choosing to leave the profession.”

The foundation’s new interactive dashboard, created with support from educational charity the Nuffield Foundation, also shows that schools with “higher levels of deprivation have greater difficulty retaining their teachers,” the NEU said.

Joint general secretary Kevin Courtney warned that staffing shortages will only worsen without government action on plummeting take-home wages, mounting teacher workloads and growing child poverty.

“The government must address the recruitment and retention crisis in teaching,” he demanded. “This requires them to give teachers a fully funded, above-inflation pay rise.

“It’s vital too that government makes teaching more appealing, and this includes tackling excessive workload and giving much more support to schools in deprived areas.

“Schools with higher levels of deprivation are much more likely to be given a low Ofsted rating and this is driving teachers away from those schools and from the profession generally.”

Mr Courtney, whose union is currently balloting 450,000 members on a call for national strike action, said that institutions with the poorest pupils need “understanding about their context — instead, the government has cut their funding the most.”

The Department for Education claimed to be taking action to “raise the profile of this important and prestigious profession,” including by raising starting salaries to £30,000 next year.

Source: Matt Trinder, morningstaronline.com

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