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Teacher shortages confirmed by NAO

Discussion in 'Education news' started by lanokia, Feb 10, 2016.

  1. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter


    Teacher shortages in England are growing and the government has missed recruitment targets for four years, the official spending watchdog has said.

    It means 28% of secondary physics lessons are taught by teachers with no more than an A-level in the subject, the National Audit Office report says.

    Ministers have a "weak understanding" of local teacher shortages, it adds.

    The government said overall teacher numbers had risen and blamed unions for "talking down" the profession.

    While the overall number of teachers has kept pace with rising pupil numbers, teacher shortages are growing, particularly in poorer areas and at secondary level, according to the authors.
    emerald52 likes this.
  2. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    If you look at what schools are doing: hiring unqualified, hiring overseas, paying more money to shortage subject teachers, making expensive teachers redundant, cutting subjects with expensive teachers and removing all non-assessed curriculum elements then in the government's mind they have succeeded in creating a market.

    If you evaluate what it is like for the children in deprived areas then it is a travesty as they are the one's whose money is not good enough. They are buying an inferior education with their tax payer funded school fees to that of those children whose parents live in a different area.
  3. coppull

    coppull New commenter

    I am suprised that the lying government spokesperson has not said this web site should be shut down,for giving a bad image of the profession.
    petenewton, Compassman and lanokia like this.
  4. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    Well the BBC reported 33% of physics lessons are being taken by someone without a degree level subject qualification.

    If I was a parent I'd be demanding to know if my kids teachers were suitably qualified.

    But I'm not a parent so...
  5. les25paul

    les25paul Star commenter

    Every year since I've been teaching (second half of the 90s) and for several years preceeding that the press has reported tales of a dire teacher shortage. But I have yet to see any evidence of a real shortage.

    I know of many qualified teachers who have left teaching and will not return until the conditions improve and I also know of some "challenging" schools to which teachers will not apply for jobs, I can also accept that even some of the better schools might have on occassion few suitable candidates for a particular vacany (but then that applies to every employer at times and schools are not a special case).

    If those in power are serious about training and recruiting teachers they need to take a long look at the terms and conditions of the job, the negative effect of over regulation by Ofsted/school management and poor behaviour in schools.
  6. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    As the report states, it's a local issue and variable between schools.

    For example, the best school in my city has no problem recruiting, gets multiple applications for every post and has its pick of the 'best' applicants. My ex-employer struggled to get anyone and relied on supply agencies to fill some posts on a regular basis.

    My new employer had to cancel it's recruitment meeting because there were zero applicants, rural setting, a bit isolated [30 min drive to next major settlement]... use to be they had no problem. A brief chat with the coordinator and he said it was due to the insistence on 2:1 and over... use to be they could always top up with 2:2 as the 2:1/first went off to industry jobs.

    And as the graduate employment situation changes, as firsts and 2:1's head off for better jobs with better pay... the 2:2 can't get in to take their place.

    All anecdotal of course.
  7. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    'Teacher shortages in England are growing and the government has missed recruitment targets for four years, the official spending watchdog has said.'

    (BBC.co.uk, 10th January 2016.)

    When a government imagines that their spin and policies can recreate reality so that a profession becomes a 'workforce' then they're inevitably going to be disappointed when they discover that teachers don't behave like supermarket workers. So too with junior doctors.

    Only frackwits vote for the fracking Tories.
  8. Maths_Shed

    Maths_Shed Occasional commenter

    How wide is the understanding of this issue? We can sit on here talking to each other, you can go on the Guardian education pages and it's teachers talking to each other but do the wider public understand what the problem is and the implications for their child's education?
    petenewton and Compassman like this.
  9. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter

    In the year to July '15 my old school lost 6 of 10 science teachers (including me) also including both physics teachers with physics degrees. The new head of physics has a non-physics degree, no-one else has a physics degree. The new head of science took an internal promotion after a term and half leaving a gap. Head of MFL was given "support" interpreted it for himself and left with no job to go to though now has a similar job elsewhere. The gaps were partly made up with TA's. Hey, no actual shortage though!

    This year the head of maths is leaving, no-one applied when it was advertised, staff have been asked if they know anyone who might be interested.

    This is in one of the "difficult" areas of the country noted for low aspirations, funnily enough making teachers accountable for unrealistic student targets isn't working. Teachers who are successful elsewhere go there and their results are lower, they leave for other schools and seem to become better again.

    If the government think the unions can achieve this using words alone, they should be courting them to put those words to positive use, or maybe it's a change of tactic like with kids who are "easily led - he's not a bad lad really".

    I do believe that the Foot of the Stairs futurologists have been predicting this for some time however.
    phlogiston and petenewton like this.
  10. pixiewixiepixie

    pixiewixiepixie Occasional commenter

    A very good point. Another is do parents really care? Our Year 11 parents evening was attended by just 60% of parents recently!

    Personally, I fully support this Government, the previous coalition and previous Labour Governments. What a wonderful mess they have all made of schools and colleges in the UK and I can't see any sensible or coherant change's in the near future that will help. This total omnishambles means supply teachers in shortage subjects like myself can earn £40k - £50k a year without any of the commitments or pressure.

    Can I take this opportunity to thank David Cameron personally for this state of affairs, and ask him to continue to do what he's doing - as DC says regularly, "it's the right thing to do" (for me). :)
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2016
  11. David Getling

    David Getling Lead commenter

    Here's an example the kind of mentality that causes the perceived teacher shortage.

    Last night I was tutoring C2 maths to a student. He tells me that since Christmas his class has had to put up with useless (they were quickly sacked) supply teachers or no teacher at all. Now, the school in question is most certainly aware of me, and knows damn well that I'm highly competent in my subject. So, even though I've no doubt they hate my guts, what's the right thing to do, leave these students without a teacher, or beg me to come in and give a few lessons?

    Unfortunately for the students, we all know what choice the school has made. School management always looks out for itself, rather than its students.
  12. Compassman

    Compassman Star commenter

    I taught Physics for many years although I don't have a degree in it. Thought I did a pretty good job.

    That said, in the likes of Physics, Chemistry and Maths there is a real problem of suitably qualified teachers. Damn those unions for talking teaching down!
    petenewton and wanet like this.
  13. Maths_Shed

    Maths_Shed Occasional commenter

    So I decided to check out what mumsnet has to say about the most pressing in education today. Not a sausage, they are all concerned about which prep school is best.

    lanokia likes this.
  14. Maths_Shed

    Maths_Shed Occasional commenter

    PMQ's just now
    Gareth Thomas (Lab Harrow West) In the light of today's damning NAO report on teacher shortages, will the PM now take urgent steps to help excellent schools such as those in my constituency recruit and crucially retain the best teachers including by extending the Inner London weighting to all Harrow schools and the other suburban schools in London too.

    Cameron: Obviously we will look carefully at this report there are 13100 more teachers in our schools than when I became Prime Minister, our teachers are better qualified than ever before and actually we've got ... (interruption) people are shouting out about increased pupil numbers but they might be interested to know that we've got 47,500 fewer pupils in overcrowded schools than in 2010 (cut to Nicky Morgan nodding) because we put the investment in where it's needed but where I agree with the honourable gentleman is we do need schemes like Teachfirst, like our National leadership programme that are getting some of the best teachers into the schools where they are most needed.

    So you all know nowt.
  15. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    A weak understanding

    There's no hope.
    petenewton and Compassman like this.
  16. pixiewixiepixie

    pixiewixiepixie Occasional commenter

    Nick Morgan's workload review = carry on as normal.

    NAO report and Cameron's reaction = carry on as normal.

    Whoever is in Government next time = carry on as normal.

    It's enough to make you vote UKIP.
    petenewton likes this.
  17. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    There is a glaring note here isn't there. Why? I mean, I understand the denial stuff - it's politics. But then Yes Minister style behind the scenes they are usually throwing cash everywhere to fix the problem. But they aren't. They aren't doing anything to fix the problem. The problem, which we all know, is that for some schools recruitment is an issue. Many of those schools are in deprived areas and this makes the problem worse. They could let local universities in those areas recruit more trainee teachers but they don't. They could offer golden handcuffs for teachers working in such schools but they don't. They could quite easily resolve the localised issue and probably save money by not investing millions in the wrong geographical places or giving the same money to a school in a nice area as a school in a tough area. But they don't. They are deliberately letting this shortage occur. It goes back to Gove removing the requirement of SofS to ensure there are enough teachers for the system. He also got rid of localised planning. But why?
    I'm not a right wing free marketeer so I struggle with the vision. What is the right wing vision here - why is some schools struggling to recruit a good thing?
    I know that it enables more profits to be made, but other than that, how is having a shortage of teachers in subjects and areas a good thing for a right wing thinker? Seriously.
    chelsea2 likes this.
  18. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    I agree with all that you've said. It makes no sense - unless you decide on the government just not caring about state education.
  19. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    They care to the extent that they may profit from it. Tory governments may be characterised as continuous asset-stripping.
    JL48 and Middlemarch like this.
  20. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter


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