A REVOLUTIONARY new initiative is being launched in the classroom to ease the chronic shortage of teachers in schools in the capital.
Schools are facing a growing crisis to attract and retain staff, with a potential shortage of 50,000 teachers in England in the next five years — that’s equivalent to 14 teachers needed for each secondary school.
London is the worst area hit and could be in need of over 7,500 teachers in five years’ time.
These areas could benefit from a new national scheme called Tomorrow’s Teachers which will help schools identify possible future teachers among their own pupils and help nurture and train them to join the profession.
Pupils will be guided through a structured course that introduces them to teaching and allows them to gain relevant skills and experience back at their old school.
The programme — launched by Tes, the education company serving millions of teachers and publisher of Tes magazine — aims to help recruit more ‘home grown’ talent into teaching and support regions that find it particularly hard to recruit.
Award-winning Tes New Teacher of the Year Abed Ahmed, from Birmingham, said: “I always wanted to work at the school I attended as a pupil so I could give back to my old teachers and my local community. I felt I had an advantage also going back as it would help me to relate to the pupils better. I acted as a real role model for those pupils. They knew I was the same as them, this was the most important thing.”
Latest figures show a worrying trend of a lack of teachers. In 2017, 43,000 left the profession, that’s 10% of those in the state sector, a rate that has been fairly static for the last five years.
Over 20% of new teachers leave the profession within their first two years of joining and 33% leave within their first five years. 1
Meanwhile, the number of secondary pupils is expected to climb from 3,191,780 in 2016 to 3,838,700 by 2024, an increase of over 20%.
This means that to stay in line with the average pupil-teacher ratio since 2005 (15.1 students per teacher), the number of secondary school teachers will have to rocket by 47,000, from 208,100 in 2016 to 254,822 by 2024 – an increase of 22.5 per cent. 2
Tes has engaged 15 ‘founding partner schools’ from all corners of the UK to help inform the development and feasibility of the programme. These include Passmores Academy & Harlow College in Essex, The Cabot Learning Federation in Bristol and The Education Alliance in Yorkshire.
Lord Jim Knight, Chief Education & External Officer at Tes said: “The shortage of teachers could have devastating consequences for the next generation’s education.
“If every school in the country spotted a potential teacher from its student cohort each year, and then gave them the practical skills and support to get them on that career path, it could have a very positive impact.”
Angela Rayner MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Education said: “If we don’t take action, the teacher recruitment crisis we’re facing will only get worse. I welcome anything we can do to encourage more young people to consider a career in teaching and hope students are inspired by Tomorrow’s Teachers to find out more about this rewarding vocation.”