Mary Bousted

Ministers bury their heads in the sand on recruitment

Unless teachers’ working conditions improve, staff will continue to leave in droves – and people will be deterred from joining the professions

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The teacher recruitment “challenge” (according to schools minister Nick Gibb) or “crisis” (according to just about everyone else) continues apace. Figures released by the Department for Education last week show that the number applying to initial teacher training courses has declined by 2 per cent since last year.

Only four of the 18 secondary subjects recruited enough trainees to meet the government’s teacher supply model targets. The situation is particularly grave in maths, physics, computing, and design and technology – all subjects where schools were already struggling to find teachers ...

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