Helen Ward

‘If you say that you’re a teacher, people just feel sorry for you’

Teaching is the best job in the world – but we are in the grip of a recruitment crisis because the workload is putting people off joining the profession, warns Emma Hollis. Here the champion of school-based teacher trainers tells Helen Ward that we need to reduce the pressure on teachers, introduce teaching apprenticeships and extend NQT induction

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Emma Hollis has taken over as the voice of school-based teacher trainers just as the government seems to have woken up to the scale of the recruitment and retention crisis.

“It absolutely is a crisis,” says Hollis, executive director of the National Association of School-Based Teacher Trainers (NASBTT). “And I don’t think, this year, that can be denied. Applications are 23 per cent down on last year, which was a bad year.”

In the past few months, Nick Gibb, the school standards minister, has written to universities and schools, telling initial teacher training (ITT) providers to “maximise ...

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