The long-standing teacher recruitment shortage is once again being reported on:
As has been previously stated on this blog, there appears to be a widening gulf opening up between teachers and their representatives on the one hand, and the government on the other.
The former are represented by bodies such as the Association of School and College Leaders, whose general secretary Brian Lightman has stated: ‘We continue to be immensely concerned about the teacher recruitment crisis which is affecting schools all over the country’.
Meanwhile government ministers continue to assert that although there is still work to do, there are many positive steps being taken on all fronts in the education sector.
This is illustrated by Schools Minister Nick Gibbs, who has said: ‘With the economy improving, we have redoubled our efforts to attract top graduates. Today’s figures show that teaching is still a hugely popular profession, with over 1,000 more graduates training to teach secondary subjects – including record levels of trainees holding a first-class degree’.
The figures meanwhile, illustrate a growing problem, particularly at secondary level, with 28,148 graduates beginning initial teacher training courses this year, representing 94% of target figures, a shortfall of 6%. However, the figures only become starker at secondary level, where only 82% of target figures were met. To make matters worse, this is the area likely to be most severely affected, in terms of subjects taught, by the population increase, particularly in already crowded areas such as the South-East of England.
This is unfortunately likely to lead to greater numbers of parents seeking out private tuition in order to make up for perceived shortfalls in the system their children are being educated in, rather than serving a supplementary role, as it has traditionally done.
This outcome is of no benefit to anybody, least of students, whose quality of education is at risk unless more is done to address the problem of teacher recruitment.