Teacher supply – ‘school support & government investment crucial’ experts comment

The Education Select Committee has published its latest report into the problem of recruiting and retaining teachers.  The committee concluded that the government is failing to take adequate measures to tackle “significant teacher shortages” in England. 

Joint comment from Dr Emily Perry and Dr Bronwen Maxwell, Centre for Development and Research in Education, Sheffield Institute of Education at Sheffield Hallam University on the subject of teacher retention and recruitment:

“The supply and retention of good teachers is a longstanding issue in the English education system and is crucial to the attainment and progress of all students.  This is especially true in the STEM subjects where there are still significant shortages of specialist teachers.
In our research we have investigated the impact of professional development and of routes into teaching on teacher supply and retention. In a recent study we found that professional development is a key factor in teacher well-being, especially for new and inexperienced teachers, and we have previously shown that professional development is a contributing factor to retaining teachers.  We have also found that supporting teachers to teach outside their subject specialism can be valuable in filling vacancies by providing additional expertise in these subject areas.  Non-traditional routes for recruiting teachers to shortage subjects, such as bringing in teachers from overseas and attracting teachers returning to the profession after a career break, can be effective in supplying new teachers to the profession in shortage subject areas.
In all these issues, two factors are crucial. The first is in-school support, so that teachers at all stages of their careers are able to reflect on, discuss and collaboratively develop their practice. The second is continued government investment, so that schools are able to provide the structures which support teachers throughout their careers.”

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