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Will paying off student loans tempt more graduates into teaching?

Discussion in 'Education news' started by TES_Rosaline, Oct 20, 2015.

  1. needabreak

    needabreak Star commenter

    The idea that one has a strong inclination to a career is not to be confused with a religious calling. It may be a personal view but if teaching is seen as just another job with it's key reward being financial alone there is no wonder we have a recruitment and retention crisis. Since if that is the case those enticed by the fact that it is a mere job would probably do just as well working in any other job. The teaching I speak of is a rewarding career not a merely a means of paying bills. If new recruits think that it is then good luck with that since once they tot up the hours required to perform well in the state sector they may well continue to find a job in a rather large supermarket pays equally well and without the additional work/life balance compromises, (clearly many do hence this thread).

    This is not to say the profession as a whole or more specifically it's representatives should sell teachers short in their remuneration, nor should they agree pay freezes in advance since the impact of a recession such as that experienced in the UK recently is then compounded.

    I do not disagree that state education has been more clearly defined these days as simply a means to fulfil the needs of the labour market in terms of it's relation to producing students/citizens capable of functioning in industry and that is why the policies to support it vary as often as our changes in government and in some cases moreso. Whether this acceptable or not will of course be defined for the most part by your party politics.
  2. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    Teaching is a vocation

    It should also be a profession

    It is being treated as a job / career

    This is a source of a lot of the current problems/frustrations/issues in teaching
  3. hermitcrabbe

    hermitcrabbe Established commenter

    I don't know..... I think its another one of those myths that teaching has ever been a "vocation".

    It has always been a dumping ground - was once a dumping ground for all those Grammar school failures of the 1960's who were not quite good enough to go to university (and their graduate counterparts who scraped Douglases because they did their degrees propping up union bars) .

    It was, before that the place you went if you got your school certificate but could not afford to move further on -or you had an authority scholarship which allowed you a university education with a proviso that you would teach.

    Only university teaching ( maybe FE teaching at A level and back in the day Grammar School teaching or independent school teaching) had any sense of " vocation and they had a kudos that went with it.

    Nowadays, it very much is a job for most young people and they seem to want to treat it as such.

    Its always been where you go when everything else seems to have failed on you.
  4. k1tsun3

    k1tsun3 New commenter

    More work needs to go into retention and rewarding teachers for their long-term service. A 1% increase in salary does not do this, nor does the lack of trust and respect from the government.

    In regards to recruitment, throwing £30k at people to train will only see tax payers' money wasted. There are still a good number of trainee teachers who never go on to teach or only teach for a year or two. Funding should be given with a contract that requires the recipient to pay it back via service (4 years of teaching in a state maintained school or 2 years in a challenging state maintained school). If they choose not to meet that committment, then the grant should become a loan that has to be repaid. That money can then go right back in to the system to support another trainee.

    Whilst things like loan forgiveness or offering better options to help teachers buy a home will be positive benefits, without trust and respect, the profession will never stabalise, nor will the education system as a whole. Canada and Ireland don't have any issues in recruitment and retention and a big part of that is due to the trust and respect of the profession, and both education systems are solid.
  5. hermitcrabbe

    hermitcrabbe Established commenter

    This is probably true but for most of us, we become too expensive once we have done more than two years. I have been in the situation of "costing" too much. Often schools get NQT's and first year teachers for cheapness. For many experienced teachers its the scrap heap if we try to leave a job or want to move on ( or get made redundant). There is no incentive for schools to employ experienced teachers. That is a t least part of the retention problem.

    If you are going down this route , you need to guarantee jobs to these people.I know of several of my peers ( and when I trained there was a bursary for shortage subjects and a golden hello) who have never managed to find a "proper" job -not even for two years. It may well be because they were not setting the potential employers on fire - indeed I would not have employed some of them in any capacity......but then maybe someone needs to ensure that we also recruit suitable people ( and what that means needs to be looked at carefully too. I know some very able and suitable people who have been teaching for 20+ years now who were rejected for ITT and never got to train as teachers)

    This is probably true but for most of us, we become too expensive once we have done more than two years. I have been in the situation of "costing" too much. Often schools get NQT's and first year teachers for cheapness. For many experienced teachers its the scrap heap if we try to leave a job or want to move on ( or get made redundant). There is no incentive for schools to employ experienced teachers. That is a t least part of the retention problem.

    This probably hits part of the nail on the head.
    needabreak likes this.
  6. irs1054

    irs1054 Star commenter

    In the several decades that I have been in teaching I have never met anyone who simply does it for the sheer joy and to heck with the money. It is a job because people do it as a way of making a living. Vocations are not ways of making a living.

    Teaching is an extremely important and demanding job. It always has been and always will be. People who do this job have to be up to the peculiar demands that it imposes. The rewards of the job, as with any other job, are not just financial. In order to appreciate those rewards, however, you do need a particular mindset which possibly does not occur in many other jobs. It is this that people confuse with "vocation".

    Do teachers honestly think that their's is the only job to which people have an attachment? Really? This just hysterical romanticism.

    Teaching as a vocation means, by definition, it is not a profession.

    Professionals have a set of (largely intellectual) skills that they sell for financial remuneration. That is the definition.

    Politicians over the years have used this confusion to dump on teachers and teachers have acquiesced because they believed the confusion.

    To call teaching a job is not to decry teaching, it does not demean it one whit. Nor does it demean the people doing the job. It is to accept reality. A job is something that you do to earn a living not something that you live to do. Teaching is a job get over it.

    Unfortunately teaching is no longer a job that is doable. The demands have overtaken what is reasonable regardless of remuneration. I don't know what (if any) the solution is going to be, but part of any solution will be to endorse this reality check.
  7. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    Teaching is a profession.

    The fact that many people do not treat it as one is just one of the many problems facing the profession.

    Teachers should be keeping up to date with their subject and with the latest research on teaching. Practice in schools should be informed by as robust and reliable statistics as possible and the whole workforce should be treated in a professional manner by each other.

    It is a shambles at the moment with those at the chalkface being treated as if they work for Burtons, by people running schools who couldn't make a half-***** job of running an actual Burtons.
    needabreak likes this.
  8. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    Personally, to continue the retail conceit, I'm waiting for someone in government to do a Ratners on Education.
  9. irs1054

    irs1054 Star commenter

    Just to clarify.
    I consider teaching as a profession. It has a skill set that is required to be able to do it.
    My argument is that 'vocational' card is used to not treat it like a profession and that card is also played by teachers themselves.

    A good example of not treating teachers like professionals was in the original teaching standards document issued by the GTC. The document listed each standard and then underneath gave an example of how the GTC punished a teacher who didn't conform with the standard.

    Contrast this with the equivalent document for doctors. On the front page it said that these were expected standards and that if a doctor decided not to follow them then they might be required to justify their professional judgement.

    See the difference. One document accepts the idea of professional judgement the other does not.
  10. needabreak

    needabreak Star commenter

    Perhaps our definition of vocation is what differs here @irs1054 ... I don't think that teachers would teach...

    Just to clarify, my understanding of the term is as outlined below:

    1. a strong feeling of suitability for a particular career or occupation.
      "not all of us have a vocation to be nurses or doctors"
      synonyms: calling, life's work, mission, purpose, function, position, niche; More
      • a person's employment or main occupation, especially regarded as worthy and requiring dedication.
        "her vocation as a poet"
      • a trade or profession.
    irs1054 likes this.
  11. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    Vocation or not... this amounts to a giant bribe to get people in... akin to a ****** nightclub that has free entry but sucks once you're inside.

    And the 'profession' seriously sucks right now. [sorry to get all California surfer dude there]
    needabreak and irs1054 like this.
  12. irs1054

    irs1054 Star commenter

    You need to be careful with internet definitions they can be very misleading. Try looking up the OED version. The stem of the word is "vocare" which means a calling, usually from God. This dates from the 15th century. The definition on the internet comes from the much later 17th century definition of the word.

    The point is less what the word means per say, rather how it is used and the problem is that its usage with respect to teaching is a con. Particularly when it is used by the politicians. In other words, if teachers are being true to their vocation they should just suck it up. My point is that this is at variance with teaching as a profession where the teachers saying the politicians have got it wrong are being professional.

    Notice that Jeremy Hunt is trying the same con on the junior doctors.

    Better expressed than my previous post.
    drek likes this.
  13. needabreak

    needabreak Star commenter

    @irs1054 I think I was clear enough on what I was referring to, it is a great shame that according to this thread some just see the teaching profession as a job like any other; a simple means to earn money without the dedication that I refer to.

    I am guessing this is a view not widely broadcast in the staff room.

    Perhaps the teaching profession needs it's participants to value themselves, only then we can expect others in society to do the same.
  14. drek

    drek Star commenter

    The 'training' to pass the first two years is sketchy and far too subjective. Unsuspecting trainees are sent to schools by admin people at their various entrant routes and it is sheer luck what school they get.
    The demands for passing the first two years vary greatly from school to school and dept to dept. not to mention a variety of manic mentors too!
    It is all right beguiling new entrees with financial incentives, but then the ads omit the facts, e.g you may be caught up in the middle of a money for executives and ministers scandals, ad hoc changes to policies anytime and with immediate effect, to finance the greedy and their schemes, which may suddenly find you deemed incapable whilst or after successfully completing your training, leaving you to repay the loan yourself, and to finance a new career, without fair references.
    You may have got a 2.1 hons degree, but if someone does not like your face or whatever idiotic reason, they personally believe, would not make you an 'outstanding' person, like themselves, then you don't get a reference either, no matter the hours you put in!
    Which other job runs on imperialistic conditions like these?
  15. BillyBobJoe

    BillyBobJoe Established commenter

    I'm pretty sure they tried paying off student loans before. The scheme was scrapped just before I started training because it didn't seem to be having any impact on recruitment or retention. Basically if you wanted out the prospect of having to pay back the rest of your loan wasn't enough to keep you in post.

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