Time to end complacency on teacher recruitment and retention

21st February 2017

Time to end complacency on teacher recruitment and retention:

Today’s Education Select Committee report on recruitment and retention uses data from LKMco and Pearson’s “Why Teach?” study to highlight the key role workload plays in driving teachers from the profession. Lead author of the study and Director of the education think-tank LKMco, Loic Menzies welcomed the Select Committee’s report, saying he hoped it would act as a “wake up call” to ministers.

“For too long ministers have selectively cited convenient evidence in an attempt to down-play the scale of the challenge. It is now time to end this complacency and recognise the urgent need to address the upcoming crisis.”

“Money and time are in short supply and rather than getting distracted by costly and disruptive political pet projects like grammar schools, the government should be concentrating its energies on ensuring schools have a sufficient supply of the fantastic teachers that are the raw materials of top-quality education.”

The report points out that the Government has missed its targets for initial teacher education for the last five years, and on top of this, there are serious concerns about the targets themselves.

Commenting on the report’s findings Loic Menzies said:

“I am pleased that the report highlights practical problems caused by the current system for applying to initial teacher training. However, the Select Committee is also right to concentrate on the even more important need to keep teachers in the profession for longer once they enter – this is where efforts should be concentrated.”

“The report’s calls for better retention data and an increased focus on professional development would be an excellent place to start. If heads systematically carried out exit interviews, as the report suggests, this would be useful, but there would also need to be some attempt to aggregate and analyse information from such interviews at a national level.”