The government has launched a pilot scheme to help teachers return to the classroom after a career break.
The move, which centres on the West Midlands and the South East, aims to test the best approach to supporting teachers who have taken time out of their careers, providing funding to help them after they return to the classroom.
It comes amid growing concerns about the teacher recruitment and retention crisis, which has seen the number of people applying to start teacher training courses this year fall dramatically.
Concerns about the effect of teacher workload on recruitment and retention featured in Damian Hinds’ first speech to school leaders on Saturday, at the annual conference of the Association of School and College Leaders.
School standards minister Nick Gibb said today: “Many of us will need to take time out from our careers at some point and teaching is no different – but it can be hard to return to the classroom.
“We want to support teachers by giving them more options on how to return to the workplace. As well as helping to keep experienced and valued teachers working in our schools, this pilot will help make sure teaching remains attractive to the next generation and regarded as a profession that is flexible to the demands of the modern world.”
The pilots will start in May, and the Department for Education said they will “build on existing evidence and help teachers re-acclimatise to the classroom and support continuous professional development through a range of measures, including funding for National Professional Qualifications”.
The pilot has a budget of £298,000, which will be adjusted depending on the number of returning teachers supported by the lead schools.
The DfE said that up to 10 lead schools are being sought across the two regions to deliver the pilot.
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