Talking point

Headteachers give their views on the continuing teacher shortage.

"The recruitment season now runs throughout January to August, with every prospect soon of being year round. We had seven newly-qualified teachers start last year and have only been able to retain two."

- Richard Moore, of Fakenham high school, Fakenham, Norfolk, who has had to appoint 24 teachers including part-timers for the new school year.

"In 2002, a geography teacher position attracted five applicants. For the same post in 1999 we had 75. Only one post this year has attracted applications in double figures. "- Bernard Clarke, of King Alfred's community and sports college, Wantage, Oxfordshire, who has recruited 18 teachers to start in September.

"We have made some excellent appointments from generally very strong fields. We are fully staffed by well-qualified teachers for September."

- Stephen Wilkinson, Queen Katherine school, Kendal, Cumbria, who filled 10 posts.

"I am very concerned about the lack of applicants across the entire curriculum. Young people appear as if they do not wish to enter the profession."

- Ifor Efans, head of Ysgol Dyffryn Conwy, Llanrwst, Conwy, North Wales.

"It is always good to see effective colleagues gain promotion but in these days of recruitment difficulties, one tends to think more about the loss to our school than the gain to the profession."

- Peter Davies, head of Bower Park school, Romford, Essex.

"This is the highest turnover of staff I have known in 12 years. Five colleagues including myself have either retired early or left the profession. Two heads of department have moved to less challenging schools. All of this is happening in a successful specialist school where staff relationships are generally excellent."- Clive Edney of Hathershaw technology college, Oldham, who filled 9.5 vacant posts (including his own).

"An advanced western democracy should not have to employ unqualified people to teach its young."

- Carolyn Roberts, head of St Hild's C of E school, Hartlepool.

Log in or register for FREE to continue reading.

It only takes a moment and you'll get access to more news, plus courses, jobs and teaching resources tailored to you