Supply of teachers examined in Education Select Committee inquiry

The Education Select Committee held a one-off session hearing evidence on the issue of teacher recruitment and retention. The Committee listened to the evidence on three points:

  • Whether there is a ‘crisis’ in the recruitment and retention of teachers, including at senior levels of the profession, at a regional level, and by subject, and how the situation may develop during the 2015 Parliament
  • What the root causes of the current situation with regard to the supply of teachers are
  • What further action should be taken by the Government to tackle teacher shortages

John Howson, expert in the supply of teachers, Honorary Norham Fellow at University of Oxford and visiting professor at Oxford Brookes University, gave evidence to the Committee. He gave his reaction:

“The Education Select Committee now knows the full extent of the teacher supply situation. Sadly, despite all the DfE’s fine words about total teachers numbers, it is clear the number of qualified teachers equipped to teach the subject or phase where they are currently teaching is falling in many areas. The DfE still needs to identify how it will help create a world-class education system . The alternative is to force a growing number of pupils into a system where motivated and enthusiastic teachers are required to do a job they haven’t been trained for. That is not an acceptable situation.”

Note to journalists: John Howson is also the Director of TeachVac.

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