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Where are all the maths teachers?

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by Elfrune, Dec 1, 2015.

  1. googolplex

    googolplex Occasional commenter

    Most of it more hogwash.
    I should think some of the TES hierarchy may well be quaking in their boots if they establish this new vacancies website where schools get to advertise vacancies for free. Current fees are exhorbitant. This is about the only good thing I can see.
    "New" national Professional qualifications...? What happened to the old ones and what, should we imagine, will they put in the new ones that will be different from the old? More of the same....
    In general it all looks rather depressing.
  2. Luke66

    Luke66 New commenter

    I'm not sure you can make that statement unless you (a) see the guy teach and (b) assess their current subject for teaching knowledge.
  3. googolplex

    googolplex Occasional commenter

    I'm inclined to agree. Too many potential teachers of all sorts of subjects are being rejected by arbitrary barriers - for example, excellent linguists who cannot pass the maths entry test. In the case of maths, for those who lack higher level qualifications, there's plenty of teaching at KS3 and then, for those with the right potential, the chance to train and develop higher level teaching skills.

    In my department, which is currently larger and better qualified than I have ever known, I would actually like to employ someone who specialises in KS3 classes and would imagine this suiting less relevantly qualified teachers or, for example, older PE teachers needing to 'retire' to the classroom. Over the years, I've known extremely inspiring and excellent classroom practitioners of this nature but the trend towards higher qualified teachers has seen this pool of talent dry up. We can't all teach A-level all the time - there isn't enough of it and the KS3 kids still need to be taught...
  4. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    Less capable? Less remunerated, less promoted, less regarded, less secure.
  5. Yoda-

    Yoda- Lead commenter

    Double the training time.
    Make it harder.
    Passing depends on someone who if they do, has to pay you more.

    Well done Nicky that should help recruitment of maths teachers.
    googolplex likes this.
  6. Elfrune

    Elfrune New commenter

    Amazed at the number of responses to my thread - really interesting to see so many people see the current lack of teachers as a problem in mathematics. I wish I could change my original title, though, from 'where have all the maths teachers gone' to 'where have all the teachers gone' - seems we have rapidly escalating problems in science where we are. Then again - the government seem to think that we can plug the shortages with unqualified teachers now - so that's all sorted. I'm sure that proposal isn't designed as another nail in the coffin of a once much respected profession. If my son starts getting taught by someone who in his maths lessons doesn't know what cos means or can't spell correctly as an English teacher - he's changing schools! I wonder how long it will be before the local bank manager pops in to tell my students, under pretence of it being a maths lesson, which bank they should all go with, or a representative of a local supermarket comes in to calculate which local supermarket is the best value. I worry about standards going down, the teaching profession slowly disappearing, and education becoming more and more political.
    donrickles and wanet like this.
  7. davidmu

    davidmu Occasional commenter

    They are all applying for the post currently advertised in a school in Liverpool. The requirements are to teach A maths and ks3 science. In addition the desirability to teach A level French and the ability to enhance English teaching. Have a look! I bet they are inundated with applications. Finally the ability to teach another subject in the Humanities faculty. Read the person specification.
  8. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    I saw that post and, on the face of it, it looks somewhat demanding.

    However, I wonder if the post description is just some other non-maths job description that was rehashed and bits were left on that shouldn't have been?

    If not, then...
  9. BillyBobJoe

    BillyBobJoe Lead commenter

    Or they have an internal candidate they want to appoint who has precisely those skills and is willing to take the post.
  10. lizziescat

    lizziescat Star commenter

    I think sloppy and inaccurate adverts are more common than we think.Some I've known include:

    Ad 1. "Head of history to lead a dynamic English department and to lead on the teaching of new English A level spec."

    Ad 2. "Teacher of Spanish to A level with some ks3 French" (except the school didn't teach A level Spanish and needed an A level French specialist.)

    Ad 3 "Head of humanities able to teach A level Geography" (the school was then concerned that no historians had applied)
  11. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    Then why not just appoint? Anyone internally will know that the job was for someone specific so why the subterfuge? As far as I am aware, the head can appoint anybody below the deputy head level without making the position open.
    hammie likes this.
  12. hammie

    hammie Lead commenter

    totally agree BBJ schools waste a huge amount on advertising and interviewing when they already know who they want. Indirectly costing other schools days wages and supply costs to cover for the interview day
  13. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    Yes, some form of assessment of subject knowledge would be needed, but I would think that a C at A-level will be a barrier to even getting on a short list if their are other, better qualified, candidates. That is why I suggested doing A-level again. Of course, if there is nobody else, then somebody with any Maths A-level would have a chance.

    I was not saying that the person concerned was not suitable, only that it is possible that somebody with a C has some basic misunderstandings. I hope that is not the case here.
  14. MathsMaria

    MathsMaria New commenter

    Had originally posted this in a different forum but very similar to this thread so may be worth posing here ..

    Hi all,

    I hope I am posting in the right forum (let me know if not!). Has anyone any advice on alternative or creative ways to recuit? I am a HOD and have a position in my department for September. The Head has advertised on TES and contacted agencys and we have completed several rounds of interviews but been unable to appoint. The Head is now keen to appoint in the next round to ensure we are fully staffed but I only want to appoint if we find someone suitable ... this is what the students deserve! Does anyone have any creative recruitment ideas?
  15. googolplex

    googolplex Occasional commenter

    This undoubtedly will not be popular but it has worked for me as a stop gap solution: we have a larger teaching space within the department which can cope with two classes at once. I double up classes and teach two lots at once. It is far from ideal for all sorts of obvious reasons. But, ultimately, it is far less work and worry than dealing with the endless fallout from incompetent teaching and long term absences.
    Given such a possibility, I would stick to your guns and only appoint someone who will do at least a good job for you. Given the current recruitment climate - dire - you may be waiting for a good while longer...!
  16. Maths_Shed

    Maths_Shed Occasional commenter

    Offer a large enough salary to tempt the right candidate from a position they are already in?
    Karvol likes this.
  17. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    As was mentioned earlier, improve your conditions so you have the teacher you need. If you have already conducted several rounds of interviews, then your shortlisting is at fault. Say precisely what you want and don't be mealy mouthed about it. All you are doing by being vague is wasting the time of all of those that are involved in the process.

    If you wish for someone with a degree in maths from a top university, with lots of teaching experience, great examination results and great involvement in the wider school community, ask yourself if you are being realistic. Do you really have enough to offer someone who has all those attributes? If you do, then say and be clear on what you wish for. If you don't, then get realistic.
    Maths_Shed and Vince_Ulam like this.
  18. MathsMaria

    MathsMaria New commenter

    I have rewrote the advert to be very exact .. the issue seems to be that we need someone with applied and Core A Level experience and when we get to interview they have been very vague 'I taught C3 several years ago yes, but I would need to refresh my knowledge before I could teach this again' even thought application forms are suggest more recent experience and would be very keen to teach A Level in Sept - very frustrating. When the teacher seems to doubt if they could be effective teaching A Level it makes me worry. We have offered a TLR (to be decided at interview) with the post. I don't mind someone who has no desire to be involved in school life - just someone who is confident in their subject knowledge, or honest about their gaps in application so we can think about supporting them and someone keen to teach over all three key stages.

    I happened to meet up with another local HOD today - also trying to find a teacher for Sept. They seem to think that the pool of teahcres interested in applying that fulfil what I want are being priced out of this area (very possible) and some people are chosing to teach a bit further out (one beds renting at 950ish) rather than have to flatshare or rent in our area (one beds renting at 1350 / 1400).

    Back to the drawing board ...
  19. Elfrune

    Elfrune New commenter

    Regarding the offering of a TLR (to be decided at interview) - I thought all TLR's had to go through the Governing body, which would take time, before they can be offered. A R&R can be offered without going through governors - would it be prudent to put in the job application exactly what TLR will be offered, thereby making the job more attractive to potential employees. Do take care, though - a TLR of, in my opinion, about 5k sounds interesting, whereas a TLR 3 of 1k-1.5ish k is an insult to a professional teacher in an area of high housing and cost of living - you can earn more than this marking exams for the boards in a quiet time of the year).
  20. googolplex

    googolplex Occasional commenter

    Maths isn't the only subject with recruitment issues. Perhaps we should give all such teachers TLRs!
    A better solution might be to free up pay scales which seem generally far too inflexible. Why does London and its fringes have different scales, but everywhere else a single scale? Is everywhere else just generally cheap to live? Are houses in Northumberland the same price as in Cambridge?!

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