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Free article: Improving teacher recruitment and retention: part 1 Free article: Get ready to win strategic school improvement funding Reputation management for schools Experience shared: Effective mentoring Tackling bullying in schools - part one Aggression at work: Managing yourself and others Managing difficult conversations The art of influence: Creating the best outcome Change management and conflict Managing anxiety at work Interpreting data for 2017 performance Free article: Know your strengths Free article: Developing an ethos of high expectation Achieving an ‘Outstanding’ Grade: Focused on Excellence Free article: Governors: The competency framework Free article: HR and the successful school: A case study Free article: Leading the way to outstanding learner progress Free article: Attainment and progress: The Rochford Review Free article: How to create a leadership team that drives school improvement Free article: Prioritising the budget for school improvement Free article: Transforming a failing school Free article: Evaluating alternative and specially resourced provision Free article: Taking a school-wide approach to mental health and wellbeing Free article: The latest developments in education - January 2016 Free article: Managing uncertainty Free article: Pupil voice as an evaluation technique Free article: The latest developments in education - September 2016 Free article: Deconstructing Ofsted: Reflection after inspection Free article: MAT expansion: Don’t let school improvement become a casualty Free article: Ten rules for outstanding leaders Free article: The governing body as a critical friend Free article: Developing an ethos of high expectations Free article: The exam post-mortem Free article: Safeguarding: Everyone’s responsibility Free article: How do inspectors make the judgement about overall effectiveness? The Ofsted model Free article: Effective leadership builds effective teams Free article: Baseline assessment and SEND Free article: Deconstructing the link between SEND and poverty Free article: Making performance management count in school improvement Free article: Joining or setting up a multi-academy trust Free article: Case study from Carlton Bolling College: Ensuring high-quality governance Free article: Using pupil voice to support school evaluation Free article: What are the signs of a good school improvement service adviser? Free article: Headteachers’ appraisal Free article: Making CPD work harder Free article: Using the Framework for governance Free article: Interpreting the inspection dashboard Free article: The government's Prevent guidance Free article: Improving provision for the most able Free article: Personal development, behaviour and welfare Free article: Is there a mental health crisis in our schools? Free article: Evaluating the effectiveness of assessment Free article: Actively promoting fundamental British values Free article: Raising boys’ achievement Free article: National standards of excellence for headteachers Free article: Governors and the inspection interview Free article: Monitoring and coaching through lesson observation Free article: CPD: Less measurement and more development Free article: Challenging 
the most able Free article: Using the teachers’ standards as a framework for CPD and accountability Free article: Managing behaviour outside the classroom Free article: Managing pupils’ behaviour in lessons Free article: Keeping Children Safe Statutory Guidance Free article: Four steps to school improvement Free article: Finding a way through the jungle: The essence of leadership Free article: How to audit your whole-school literacy provision Free article: Professional development: the growing case for evidence Free article: Getting personal  with CPD Free article: Making performance appraisal an objective and helpful process Free article: Parent View — an update Free article: Raising pupil achievement through parental engagement: a practical approach Free article: Effective parental engagement

Free article: Improving teacher recruitment and retention: part 1

In the first part of a two-part article, Matt Bromley looks at ways to improve teacher recruitment and retention.

Free article: Get ready to win strategic school improvement funding

How do you make a successful bid for a slice of the government’s Strategic School Improvement Fund? Best Practice Network’s Liam Donnison asks two school leaders who have done so…

Reputation management for schools

PLMR’s Sam Dalton talks about how schools can manage reputational impact when a crisis hits.

Experience shared: Effective mentoring

Steve Burnage explores the professional development potential of a productive and focused mentoring relationship from the perspective of the mentor.

Tackling bullying in schools - part one

Bullying is defined as: ‘Behaviour by an individual or group, usually repeated over time, that intentionally hurts another individual or group either physically or emotionally’. This article looks at the…

Aggression at work: Managing yourself and others

Conflict management is a vital skill for managers. Schools have clear policies on managing aggression in the classroom and playground. In this article Louise Wingrove looks at dealing with it…

Managing difficult conversations

Some conversations are always going to be uncomfortable. In this article, Louise Wingrove looks at managing difficult subjects with care and confidence.

The art of influence: Creating the best outcome

Louise Wingrove looks at how being aware of your impact on others can help everybody get what they need.

Change management and conflict

Nazli Hussein looks at the causes of conflict and the best ways to deal with it, with the best outcomes for those involved.

Managing anxiety at work

With growing awareness about anxiety and the impact it can have on both pupils and members of staff, Louis Wingrove looks at some ways to tackle the problem in the…

Interpreting data for 2017 performance

Tony Powell looks at the three different ways that a school’s academic performance is evaluated.

Free article: Know your strengths

Can you make inspection an enriching learning process that is actually good for your school? Heather Clements of Best Practice Network offers some advice. 

Free article: Developing an ethos of high expectation

In this article, Steve Burnage shares some practical strategies to enable school leaders to develop an ethos of high expectation in their schools. 

Achieving an ‘Outstanding’ Grade: Focused on Excellence

Tony Powell outlines a step-by-step approach to support schools in achieving the accolade of ‘outstanding’ as defined by Ofsted.

Free article: Governors: The competency framework

Tony Powell looks at the changes to governance in the DfE publication A competency framework for governance.

Free article: HR and the successful school: A case study

Adrian Kneeshaw, Headteacher of Carlton Bolling College, gives a personal viewpoint of the benefits of bringing in the experts.

Free article: Leading the way to outstanding learner progress

Steve Burnage discusses engaging with good practice in the leadership of teaching and learning.

Free article: Attainment and progress: The Rochford Review

Tony Powell reports on the findings of the final Rochford Review.

Free article: How to create a leadership team that drives school improvement

A high-performing leadership team is at the centre of any school improvement mission. But how do you go about creating an excellent SLT? Colin McLean of Best Practice Network asks…

Free article: Prioritising the budget for school improvement

Adrian Kneeshaw of Carlton Bolling school gives advice on how to focus school spending on improvement planning.

Free article: Transforming a failing school

Matt Bromley offers some advice on turning around an underperforming school in a short space of time while laying down the foundations for sustainable improvement.

Free article: Evaluating alternative and specially resourced provision

Tony Powell explains how inspectors gather evidence and make judgements on the quality of alternative and specially resourced provision.

Free article: Taking a school-wide approach to mental health and wellbeing

With concerns about mental health rising, what can schools do to help their pupils? Suzanne O’Connell outlines the advice available from the National Children’s Bureau and how it might be…

Free article: The latest developments in education - January 2016

Suzanne O’Connell provides a look at what’s currently being discussed, debated and determined in the world of education.

Free article: Managing uncertainty

If you are struggling with a sense of uncertainty, be reassured: you are not alone. 2016 has been a year of upheaval, with the promise of big changes on the…

Free article: Pupil voice as an evaluation technique

Tony Powell provides guidance on how to use discussion with pupils as a tool for self-evaluation.

Free article: The latest developments in education - September 2016

Suzanne O’Connell provides a look at what’s currently being discussed, debated and determined in the world of education.

Free article: Deconstructing Ofsted: Reflection after inspection

Tony Powell looks at how to use the feedback from your inspection in school improvement planning.

Free article: MAT expansion: Don’t let school improvement become a casualty

How can an expanding multi-academy trust ensure that school improvement doesn’t become a casualty of change? Colin McLean of Best Practice Network looks at the issue and offers some guidance.

Free article: Ten rules for outstanding leaders

Adrian Kneeshaw looks at how leadership is important to the success of the school, and how to lead effectively.

Free article: The governing body as a critical friend

In his second article on the headteacher and governor relationship, Tony Powell defines what is meant by a ‘critical friend’.

Free article: Developing an ethos of high expectations

Steve Burnage shares some practical strategies to enable school leaders to develop an ethos of high expectations in their schools.

Free article: The exam post-mortem

Matt Bromley considers how schools can learn from exam performance data and build this into school improvement.

Free article: Safeguarding: Everyone’s responsibility

With new safeguarding guidance released, it’s time to check your arrangements and update your staff.

Free article: How do inspectors make the judgement about overall effectiveness? The Ofsted model

This article outlines the Ofsted methodology for determining whether a school is ‘outstanding’, ‘good’, ‘requires improvement’ or ‘inadequate’.

Free article: Effective leadership builds effective teams

Steve Burnage offers advice on motivating staff, getting the best from them and building effective teams.

Free article: Baseline assessment and SEND

Suzanne O’Connell looks at a report on baseline assessment in primary schools and it’s affect on identifying children with SEND.

Free article: Deconstructing the link between SEND and poverty

DfE statistics show a clear link between SEND and children living in poverty. Suzanne O’Connell outlines some of the reasons for this, and recommendations for action, in a Joseph Rowntree…

Free article: Making performance management count in school improvement

What do you need to do to make performance management a watertight process that makes a real contribution to school improvement? Keith Wright has some suggestions.

Free article: Joining or setting up a multi-academy trust

Tony Stephens, of the Co-operative Academies Trust, looks at what is the best type of multi-academy trust for a school to join or establish.

Free article: Case study from Carlton Bolling College: Ensuring high-quality governance

Adrian Kneeshaw, Headteacher of Carlton Bolling, gives a personal take on renewing a failing governing body having designed and built one from scratch.

Free article: Using pupil voice to support school evaluation

David Birch explains how capturing the views of students can sharpen school self-evaluation and have a positive impact on your school improvement strategies.

Free article: What are the signs of a good school improvement service adviser?

Frank Norris offers advice on how to choose the most appropriate school improvement partner to work with your school.

Free article: Headteachers’ appraisal

David Birch outlines best practice in the management of the headteacher appraisal process and offers advice for headteachers on how to make the most of appraisal in their own professional development.

Free article: Making CPD work harder

Professional development is a crucial factor in school improvement and improving pupil outcomes, but it could work harder, says Keith Wright.

Free article: Using the Framework for governance

Tony Powell looks at how the Framework for governance can be used to clarify the strategic direction of your school.

Free article: Interpreting the inspection dashboard

There is a new inspection dashboard to go with Ofsted's new Common inspection framework. Tony Powell explains how it can be used.

Free article: The government's Prevent guidance

Suzanne O'Connell considers the guidance available regarding Prevent and school leaders' responsibilities.

Free article: Improving provision for the most able

Ofsted reports are making it clear. The DfE wants to see secondary schools challenging their most able students. In this article, Suzanne O’Connell summarises the criticisms and recommendations from ‘The…

Free article: Personal development, behaviour and welfare

Tony Powell looks at the new key area ‘personal development, behaviour and welfare’ under the new Ofsted inspection framework.

Free article: Is there a mental health crisis in our schools?

The mental health of children and young people is at the top of the agenda at the moment. Increased anxiety, self-harm and eating disorders are bringing some schools to crisis…

Free article: Evaluating the effectiveness of assessment

Tony Powell interprets government guidance on assessment to help schools support self-evaluation.

Free article: Actively promoting fundamental British values

Tony Powell advises on how schools can demonstrate that they are actively promoting fundamental British values.

Free article: Raising boys’ achievement

John Viner looks at research into boys’ underachievement and reviews some successful strategies.

Free article: National standards of excellence for headteachers

Tony Powell looks at the revised national standards for headteachers and how they should be used by schools.

Free article: Governors and the inspection interview

Tony Powell discusses how to prepare governors in advance for an inspection interview.

Free article: Monitoring and coaching through lesson observation

John Viner explores ways to develop a culture of continual improvement in teaching through lesson observation.

Free article: CPD: Less measurement and more development

How can schools translate CPD into genuine improvement for staff? Keith Wright asked leaders to share their views, and discovered an emerging consensus about which approaches work best.

Free article: Challenging 
the most able

Tony Powell looks at how to identify the most able pupils, and the key factors that enable the brightest pupils to achieve.

Free article: Using the teachers’ standards as a framework for CPD and accountability

Tony Powell looks at how the teachers’ standards can be used to evaluate performance and support improvement.

Free article: Managing behaviour outside the classroom

Since January 2014 there has been increased emphasis on the behaviour of pupils. In this article, Jim Donnelly offers advice on managing behaviour around the school.

Free article: Managing pupils’ behaviour in lessons

David Birch offers advice on effective classroom management and argues that effective practice relies on a combination of the consistent application of agreed policy and the development of awareness and…

Free article: Keeping Children Safe Statutory Guidance

This is statutory guidance, which means that schools and colleges (including academies and free schools) must have regard to it. It contains what schools should do and what they must…

Free article: Four steps to school improvement

School improvement is a complex recipe that takes time to perfect. Keith Wright looks at some of the key barriers to school improvement and suggests strategies and systems to overcome…

Free article: Finding a way through the jungle: The essence of leadership

Louise Wingrove gives practical advice on how to become a leader your team will want to follow.

Free article: How to audit your whole-school literacy provision

Given that whole-school literacy is central to raising standards of achievement in schools and that it is a key focus for Ofsted, David Birch outlines some of the actions schools…

Free article: Professional development: the growing case for evidence

Teachers are good at gathering evidence of pupil progress, but many find it difficult to do the same with regard to their own professional development.  Keith Wright looks at the…

Free article: Getting personal with CPD

Less than a fifth of teachers in England’s schools think their continuing profession development (CPD) is any good, according to a recent survey. One of the keys to unlocking the…

Free article: Making performance appraisal an objective and helpful process

Performance appraisal is crucial to school improvement, but many schools are still without a rigorous and transparent way of carrying it out, says Keith Wright. Here, he analyses the challenges…

Free article: Parent View — an update

Jenny Townsend looks at the importance of Parent View in achieving an outstanding rating in inspection, and how comments from parents are used by Ofsted.

Free article: Raising pupil achievement through parental engagement: a practical approach

Jenny Townsend explores how parental engagement can contribute to school improvement and in particular the role this can play in raising pupil achievement levels.

Free article: Effective parental engagement

Ofsted’s Parent View means that parents have a direct influence on the decision to inspect. Jenny Townsend examines why this matters to schools.

Free article: Improving teacher recruitment and retention: part 1

Published: Wednesday, 27 June 2018

In the first part of a two-part article, Matt Bromley looks at ways to improve teacher recruitment and retention.

Summary

  • The shortage of teachers is due to a combination of: increasing pupil numbers, a lack of new teachers going through initial teacher training, and teachers leaving the profession.
  • More than one in ten teachers left the profession in 2016, with an increasing proportion leaving the profession for other sectors rather than retiring. 
  • Not enough new secondary school trainee teachers are coming into the sector. 
  • In 2016–17, the only secondary school subjects where the teacher supply model (TSM) recruitment target was met were biology, geography, history and PE. 
  • The greatest problem areas for recruitment, according to a recent survey, are in maths, science and English.

There is a crisis in teacher recruitment and retention in England’s schools, and tackling it is proving an increasingly urgent task for school leaders. Before we explore some ways of solving this crisis, let’s first examine its causes.

The problems

1 Pupil numbers are growing

Previously this created a problem with teacher shortages at primary school level, but now a large number of pupils from primary schools are moving to secondary schools, causing a large increase in pupil numbers at secondary level. The secondary school population, not counting Year 12 and 13 pupils, is projected to rise from 2.72 million in 2017 to 3.03 million by 2021, a rise of 11.5% over four years. What is more, by 2025 there are projected to be 3.3 million 11–15-year-olds in English schools, which is an increase of half a million compared with 2015.

If we are to ensure that these children are properly educated, we will need an extra 26,500 teachers in the classroom.

2 There are too few secondary school trainee teachers

Not enough new secondary school trainee teachers are coming into the sector. Previously there was a shortage of teachers at primary school level due to an increase in pupil numbers, but now those pupils are migrating to secondary school level, passing the teacher shortage crisis to secondary schools.

Initial teacher training (ITT) figures for 2016–17 show a decrease in the overall number of recruits compared with 2015–16, with only 93% of places being filled. The overall contribution to the secondary target was 89%, meaning nearly 2000 places went unfilled. But the reality is even worse than these figures suggest because, since 2015–16, ITT figures have included applicants for Teach First who were previously excluded from these statistics. This therefore boosted the overall figure for 2016–17 by over 1000 applicants. However, despite the inclusion of Teach First applicants in the ITT statistics, the overall Teacher Supply Model (TSM) target was still not met, just as it had not been met for the previous four years.

In 2016–17, the only subjects where the TSM recruitment target was met were biology, geography, history and PE. All other secondary subjects were under-recruited, and some by a significant margin. For instance, maths only recruited 84% of the required number of trainees, physics 81%, and computing just 68%.

3 We are losing too many experienced teachers

Not only are we failing to recruit enough new teachers, we are also losing too many experienced ones. Teachers are leaving the profession in record numbers. More than one in ten teachers left the profession in 2016. Of these, an increasing proportion left the profession for other sectors rather than retiring, suggesting that their working conditions rather than their age were driving them out.

4 Schools are unable to recruit and retain teachers

A survey by the National Union of Teachers (prior to it merging with ATL and becoming the National Education Union or NEU), carried out in March 2016, found that nearly three quarters (73%) of school leaders were experiencing difficulties in recruiting teachers, with 61% saying that the situation had got worse (42%) or much worse (19%) over the last year.

The greatest problem areas, according to the survey, were in maths (36% of school leaders were struggling to recruit in this area), science (34%) and English (23%).

The crisis in teacher recruitment means that while schools are struggling to fill vacancies, large numbers of pupils are being taught by unqualified teachers, or at least teachers who do not have a relevant qualification in the subject they are being asked to teach. In 2016, for example, the NUT found that only 63% of physics and 75% of chemistry teachers held a relevant post- A-level qualification in the subject they taught. For maths and English, these figures were 78% and 81% respectively.

In addition, falling retention rates is costly. An analysis by the Labour Party estimated that secondary schools spent £56 million on advertising for vacant posts in 2015, an increase of 61% from 2010.

But high levels of attrition among qualified teachers is not only costly in financial terms; it also has an impact on the quality of education that schools can provide. In November 2016, for example, there were 500 fewer qualified teachers in service than in the previous year. Conversely, there were 1400 more teachers in service without qualified teacher status than there had been the year before.

So, what can be done to solve this growing crisis?

The solution

What is needed at a national level is a long-term, evidence-based strategy setting out how the government will tackle challenges associated with the supply of teachers, which should include improvements to the teacher supply model.

While recruiting sufficient numbers of new teachers is clearly necessary, the government should also focus its attentions on improving teacher retention, and not solely through the lens of workload. Work–life balance is clearly a problem, but many teachers cite other reasons, such as stress and a lack of autonomy, for leaving the profession.

Not only is improving retention rates a more cost-effective way of tackling the issues of supply and demand, but having greater numbers of experienced teachers staying in the profession will naturally deepen the pool of leadership potential, supplying our next cohort of headteachers.

Meanwhile, at a local level, in schools and academy trusts, leaders need to develop staff autonomy, mastery and purpose if they are to improve the recruitment and retention of high-quality teachers.

In terms of autonomy, school leaders need to understand better what motivates staff, and accept that teachers need to feel valued, rewarded and professionally developed. In terms of mastery, school leaders might wish to review their performance management processes in order to separate any appraisal decisions from matters of professional development, emphasising the carrot rather than the stick. And in terms of purpose, school leaders need to understand and articulate what their school has to offer new teachers and what makes it unique.

In the second part of this two-part article, we will explore more ways of developing autonomy, mastery and purpose, and then examine the types of school leader who enjoy the most sustained success in turning around failing schools and stemming the flow of teachers, as well as the types of school culture they tend to build.

Further information

  • Curriculum and assessment in chaos: a survey of NUT secondary school members, National Education Union, March 2016: http://bit.ly/NUT-Survey

Toolkit

Use the following items in the Toolkit to put the ideas in the article into practice:

About the author

Matt Bromley is an education journalist and author with over eighteen years’ experience in teaching and leadership. He also works as a consultant, speaker and trainer and is the author of numerous best-selling books for teachers. You can read more advice in his latest book, The New Teacher Survival Kit, available in paperback and ebook formats. You can find out more about Matt at www.bromleyeducation.co.uk and follow him on Twitter @mj_bromley.

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