Retention and recruitment of teachers Contents

Conclusions and recommendations

1.Schools face increasing challenges of teacher shortages, particularly within certain subjects and regions. The Government is aware of these issues, yet lacks a coherent, long-term plan to effectively address them. The Government has missed recruitment targets for the last five years, and in 2016/17 the number of graduates starting initial teacher training fell. (Paragraph 28)

2.Rising pupil numbers and changes to school accountability, including the Government’s focus on subjects within the EBacc, will exacerbate existing problems, increasing demand for teachers in subjects experiencing shortages. The failure of the National Teaching Service leaves a gap in the Government’s plans to tackle regional shortages. (Paragraph 29)

3.The number of different routes into teaching are not always well understood by applicants and can be confusing. The absence of a central application system for school-led ITT leads to inefficient application systems and does little to address regional shortages. (Paragraph 30)

4.The Government and National College for Teaching and Leadership should develop a long-term plan to improve both the supply of new and retention of existing teachers over the next 10 years. This plan should be published before the end of the school summer term 2017 and include:

5.The Department should assess the full consequences of the range of possible numbers of teachers needed in the system as predicted by the Teacher Supply Model and include pre-existing shortages in this. This should be in place in time for the next targets to be set. The Government should follow through on its plan to develop and launch a national vacancy website which will be free to use for schools, and use the data to inform teacher recruitment targets. The Department should publish teacher shortages on a regional basis to better inform teacher recruitment. (Paragraph 42)

6.Government intervention currently focuses almost entirely on improving recruitment of teachers. The Government struggles to recruit enough teachers to ITT each year, making the retention of teachers ever more important. Introducing initiatives to help improve teachers’ job satisfaction may well be a much more cost effective way of improving teacher supply in the long term. (Paragraph 54)

7.The Government does not collect enough data on retention rates by subject, region, or route into teaching. Research suggests more teachers are leaving the profession and that there may be specific issues for certain subjects, particularly science teachers. (Paragraph 55)

8.The Government should focus more resource on evidence-based policies to improve the retention of high-quality teachers. The Government should collect more granular data on teacher retention rates. This should include the reasons driving teachers to leave including secondary school subject, region and route into teaching to inform where intervention and investment should be directed. (Paragraph 56)

9.School leaders should carry out systematic exit interviews and use this information to better understand staff turnover, and whether there are any interventions that may help retain high-quality staff. (Paragraph 57)

10.The Government should recognise the importance of stability following major changes to accountability, assessment or the curriculum to allow recent reforms to be embedded. The current protocol of a year’s notice should be adhered to at the very minimum, but more effort should be made to give longer lead in time for future policy changes. (Paragraph 69)

11.The Government must do more to encourage schools to implement the recommendations of the workload challenge. Ofsted must do more to dispel any misunderstandings of its requirements and promote good practice by monitoring workload in its school inspections. Ofsted should introduce and publish details of how consistency between inspectors is evaluated. (Paragraph 70)

12.All school leaders should promote a culture of wellbeing in their schools, which will include taking greater account of teacher workload. This could include implementing the recommendations of the workload challenge or ‘capping’ the number of hours teachers work outside of teaching time. (Paragraph 71)

13.CPD improves teaching practice, professionalism, and can help improve teacher retention. Until now, England has had a weaker commitment to CPD for teachers than many high-performing countries. (Paragraph 92)

14.All teachers should have the entitlement and opportunity to undertake high-quality, continuing professional development. This should include greater emphasis on:

15.We fully support the College of Teaching, but recognise that there are still challenges in place and it may be some time before extensive benefits are seen. We urge teachers, school leaders and the wider sector to support it through its development phase. (Paragraph 94)

16.Responsibility for improving CPD is shared between the Government, Ofsted, schools and teachers:

20 February 2017