As you know well, there is a real and pressing teacher recruitment crisis. But where are these new teachers going to come from? A third of newly trained teachers leave the profession in their first five years of joining. There are simply not enough people starting teacher training to fill the gap.
We think we could be starting sooner: what is your school doing to encourage young people towards a career in teaching?
Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) tells us his big regret: in all his years of teaching, he never led an assembly on the life and work of a teacher. “Students are inspired by teachers every day,” he says, “but they often don’t consider a career in teaching.”
We believe in the power of great teaching, but this is only possible with enough individuals prepared to stand in front of a room of students. That’s why we’ve has launched Tomorrow’s Teachers, a free new initiative to help teachers identify, nurture and inspire potential talented teachers from pupils in their classrooms right now.
Young, future talented teachers will be pinpointed by school staff and leaders, then guided through a structured course that introduces them to teaching and allows them to gain suitable skills and experience. It’s completely free to take part and requires just 12 hours of teaching time, perhaps spread out over a whole academic year or delivered as part of an enrichment day.
Lord Jim Knight, chief education and external officer at Tes says, “We know how incredible and worthwhile a career in teaching is, so we’re launching Tomorrow’s Teachers to make more young people aware of the opportunities.”
“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.”
We’ve been speaking to schools and teachers throughout the development of Tomorrow’s Teachers – who’ve helped us make sure it’s flexible, interactive and easy to deliver.
One of the founding partners of Tomorrow’s Teachers is the Cabot Learning Federation, a multi-academy trust made up of over 20 schools. Chris Baker is a teacher at John Cabot Academy in Bristol, UK (a member of the Federation) and Leader of Initial Teacher Training for the Federation. He’s supporting Tomorrow’s Teachers as a way to get more young people into teacher training. Chris says, “Growing the next generation of teachers is vital to the success of all schools and this starts by inspiring our own students.”
At the Tes School Awards held in June, New Teacher of the Year was awarded to Abed Ahmed, a teacher at Washwood Heath Academy in Birmingham. Abed was a pupil at Holte School in Birmingham and after teacher training, he worked there for two years before moving to Washwood Heath. Abed thinks that students returning to their own schools to get teaching experience as a key part of Tomorrow’s Teachers. “Personally, I wanted to always work at the school I attended as a pupil so I could give back to my old teachers and my local community,” Abed says. “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"
Political leaders recognise the problem for our children’s education and have pledged their support. 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.”
You can find out more about Tomorrow’s Teachers on the our website: https://www.tes.com/institute/tomorrows-teachers