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High-quality teachers are in short supply, according to the Department for Education’s annual report.

An “insufficient number of high-quality teachers” is likely to result “in poor educational outcomes for pupils”, it believes.

The report says that although action is being taken, this issue remains a “high risk” to the Government’s objective that all children and young people will have access to high-quality education.

Access to high-quality education has been worsened during the coronavirus pandemic due to issues such as digital poverty. This blog post explains the findings of the report.

Report: access to “high-quality teachers is high risk”

The report has declared high-risk to the insufficient number of high-quality teachers, that schools have access to:

This remains a risk to the Government’s objective that all children and young people have access to a high-quality education.

Following the Teacher Recruitment and Retention Strategy published in January 2019 we have made progress in a number of areas. We are recruiting increasing numbers of trainees each year and are working to improve the attractiveness of the profession. We believe that the projects and programmes we are delivering as part of the strategy are the appropriate course of action to mitigate the risk, and allow us to be in an improved position in relation to the teaching workforce.

Key actions we have taken include taking forward the 2020 teacher pay award (the proposal to allow salaries for new teachers to rise to £30,000 by 2022-23). Access to the Teacher Vacancies service has improved, with new functionality to improve user journey. Our schedule of programmes continues, with the roll-out of the Early Career Framework on-track, and our national marketing and communication campaign continues to offer practical assistance to both new recruits and those returning to the profession. On workload, the 2019 Teacher Workload Survey reported that teachers, middle and senior leaders’ working hours had fallen by five hours per week since 2016. This suggests that the Department’s work with the profession to tackle workload is starting to make a real difference in schools. Further steps on tackling workload include enhancements to the online toolkit which provides tools and practical advice for managing workload challenges.

The other risks identified in the report were:

  • A significant number of further education colleges are not financially resilient enough to make the long-term investments required.
  • The Department for Education fail to have in place enough critical resource to deliver Corporate Services Reform Programme (CSRP) activities.
  • The Department for Education are unable to deliver timely and accurate 2020/21 allocations to the education and skills sectors.
  • High needs costs increase significantly more than available funding.

The report revealed (that in the year to 31st March 2020) there were 453,000 full-time equivalent teachers in state schools – up by 1,000 on the previous year.

 Covid-19 could cut teacher shortages by 40%

Meanwhile the coronavirus crisis could cut teacher recruitment shortages by up to 40% each year.

According to the Education Policy Institute says “the difficulty of securing new work during a time of economic hardship may encourage thousands of teachers to stay in the profession, boosting retention rates.

EPI analysis of the likely impact of Covid-19 on recruitment and retention rates found that the boost in teacher numbers “might have already started” – although the main uptake is expected to occur during the 2020-21 cycle.

The researchers predict the teaching profession will become “relatively more attractive” in the wake of the pandemic, as the need for workers is “largely unaffected by a recession.”

As jobs dry up and wages fall, graduates are drawn to the job security and stable wages of teaching. 

How EDClass can help you address the absence of high-quality teachers

EDClass can help with a range of support for schools.

The online virtual classroom provides access to high-quality teachers, along with 12,000+ lessons, core and vocational subjects, tasks, assessments, quizzes and more.

It means you have support in the absence of pupil’s self-isolating, long-term illness or at risk of permanent exclusion. The platform has been highly effective at improving student engagement in isolation units.

Click here for a free demonstration.

For more information call 01909 568 338.