Anecdotally it seems most schools have just about managed to find enough staff for this September, although there are still a lot of jobs around – 708 at e-teach and 450 at TES.com as of 17th July – for anyone left looking.
The problem is that 2018 is looking much worse. A combination of demographic and economic factors is set to produce a shortage of potential teachers while the number of students will rise significantly. Teacher retention is getting worse, while recruitment has not met demand for 5 years. You can see why the Government is preparing to spend £10 million to recruit just 600 teachers from overseas and teacher training adverts are continuing well into the student summer vacation.
We take a look at all these trends below and offer advice for all schools affected.
Teacher retention gets worse...
The first graph below shows that teachers are leaving at an increasing rate, and increasingly before retirement. The second graph shows that the result of this is poorer retention and a severe lack of retained expertise. It’s clear that this is down to a combination of workload, pay and conditions. Yet for one reason or another (probably lack of time!) even when workload reduction is suggested, 80% of schools aren’t taking steps to implement it.
....And recruitment is no better
The Government has responded by putting more money into recruitment - notably its £10 million 'biggest ever' overseas recruitment plan plus more funding for local recruitment. The tweet below right shows a late 'Get Into Teaching' advert after the end of the student year. The only problem is that students who haven't found a job yet may fit the 'Armstrong and Miller' stereotype in the video below?
How to ride the storm!
The problem is that there's no simple solution for every school. Some will probably benefit most from reaching out for former teachers in their communities - offering flexible part-time work or a better work-life balance to tempt them back. Others need to work on retention - making real changes to workload to keep their best staff. Another group might benefit most from being more involved in local Initial Teacher Training – helping SCITTS interview, offering PGCE or Teach First placements or letting staff teach on university courses.
To help your school find an individual solution with expert help, click here to book a place on one of our Recruitment and Retention Workshops in October. We'll explore all aspects of the Talent Management Cycle and produce a specific plan for your school!