As concerns surrounding teacher recruitment and retention continue to increase, the last few weeks have seen a number of stories and publications adding to the debate, summarised for you here:
ESC teacher recruitment and retention report
The Education Select Committee has produced a report addressing the government’s failure to meet the challenges of teacher recruitment and outlines how it has consistently failed to meet recruitment targets.
Reducing Teacher Workload
Last week, the Department for Education (DfE) published its documents on reducing workload for teachers. This follows the workload challenge launched by the DfE in October 2014, which was a survey conducted to ascertain the views of teachers on how to reduce unnecessary workload.
These documents will provide information on the government’s policy to help remove unnecessary workload for teachers, including details of the workload challenge:
The Reducing Teacher Work Action Plan endeavours to set out what the government will do with regard to addressing significant issues that have emerged from the workload challenge.
The DfE Protocol responds to the 2014 survey by setting out the government’s commitment to doing more to consider the workload of staff in schools when introducing significant changes to the curriculum, qualifications and accountability.
To access the policy documents, you can click here.
Flexible Working in Schools
The DfE has also published new guidance on Flexible Working in Schools, aiming to help teachers considering working flexibly and to assist schools and employers consider how best to encourage, support and enable flexible working.
The guidance looks at various flexible working options, such as part time working, job sharing, compressed hours and staggered hours, as well as setting out what teachers need to know in terms of eligibility and the legal position.
The guidance demonstrates through numerous case studies the impact and benefits of flexible working and offers practical advice on how to make part-time and job-sharing arrangements work in practice.
Teachers Working Longer Review
In March 2014 The Secretary of State commissioned a review into the health and deployment implications of teachers working longer as a result of the increase in the normal pension age (NPA) in the Teachers’ Pension Scheme. The Teachers Working Longer Review Steering Group has published an Interim Report which draws the following initial, overarching conclusions:
older/experienced teachers are a valuable part of the education workforce and that should be promoted
all parties have a part to play in reinforcing the value of older/experienced teachers; promoting ways of best managing the whole workforce; and ensuring that the value of maintaining health and well-being is reinforced from the point of initial teacher training onwards
that there is a strong case for the review to continue beyond the original two years envisaged and more work to be undertaken before a final report is produced
Further conclusions relating to specific issues include employment practices what would support teachers working longer and the extent to which workload is a factor in older teachers dropping out of the workforce.
Recruitment and retention remain significant issues for schools and governing boards need to ensure that policies and procedures in their schools are geared to providing the best experience for staff.