NAHT have today released a report on teacher recruitment and retention which finds that for a fourth consecutive year, schools are facing difficulties in attracting and retaining staff across all roles. Based on a survey undertaken by 805 school leaders in October and November 2017, 95 per cent of responses were received from NAHT members in England (the majority from primary phase schools). Of those participants, 64 per cent were head teachers or principals.
The main findings of the survey include, on the issue of recruitment:
81 per cent of all posts, from teachers to senior leaders, were “difficult to recruit for.”
Of this number, 63 per cent of posts “were a struggle to fill” and 18 per cent “were not recruited for.”
On the reasons why posts were difficult to recruit for:
The most commonly cited reason was “a lack of quality applicants in the area” which was reported by 64 per cent of respondents.
The proportion of respondents who said “budget pressures were affecting their ability to attract the right candidates for the roles they required” rose from nine per cent in 2014 to 33 per cent in 2017.
66 per cent said “they were aware of staff having left the profession for reasons other than retirement in the last year”.
The most commonly cited reason was workload pressures reported by 84 per cent of respondents, followed by “wanting a better work-life balance” as reported by 83 per cent.
The report cites a myriad of issues including: a confused teacher supply model, relatively low graduate salaries, stagnant wages, limited continuous professional development opportunities, excessive workload, high-stakes accountability and constant change to curriculum, as key challenges for schools. NAHT make several recommendations to the government to improve recruitment and retention. To read the full findings and recommendations of the report, click here.
The findings bear out the results of a National Governance Association’s survey done in collaboration with the Tes, in which 34% of respondents governing in primary schools said they found it difficult to attract good headteacher candidates.