Downturn dash to the GTC

2nd October 2009 at 01:00
Fear of recession and lack of job security fuels council registration surge

There has been a significant leap in the number of supply and private school teachers registered with GTC as the recession heightens fears about job security. The figure for supply teachers jumped by 52 per cent - from 33,531 to 50,999 - between March 2008 and March 2009. The number of private school teachers registered with the GTC rose from 6,357 to 9,000, an increase of 42 per cent.

Professor John Howson, a teacher recruitment expert with Education Data Surveys, said the increases were likely to be because of the economic downturn.

"There are significant numbers of people with QTS who aren't working," he said.

"Others will have been teachers in the past and then gone on to other professions. These people may have lost their jobs or fear they will lose them in the recession and have re-registered as supply teachers.

"The same is probably true of private school teachers who have registered - they fear their jobs may be at risk and look for work in the state sector."

Unlike their state school colleagues, independent school teachers are not required to register with the GTC. Of 45,000 teachers working in the independent sector, only 9,000 are members.

The council has been keen to sign up more of them. As reported in The TES earlier this year, Keith Bartley, GTC chief executive, held a number of meetings with independent school associations to inform them of the benefits of registration.

The extra teachers registering for supply does not have an impact on the number of training places that will be funded.

However, with the recession putting more people out of work, Professor Howson said the Government should take a radical look at teaching jobs.

"It would be cheaper to encourage teachers at the top of the pay scale over the age of 55 to retire early with a free pension top-up, and then employ newly qualified teachers who find themselves unemployedd drawing benefits," he said.

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