There is a clear need for teachers who return to the classroom to be retrained but no consensus on how this should be done, the General Teaching Council has concluded. The issue will be taken up with the new authorities after the council's education committee meets in May.
The council had 78,496 qualified teachers on its register in February, of whom 1,609 are retired. Many remain on the register but have little intention of teaching again.
Vic Bourne, the council's depute registrar, said there was firm agreement that returners could not be compelled to undergo retraining. But they must be encouraged "to engage in professional renewal". The major obstacles were finance and access to courses.
A survey of education authorities, teacher trainers and unions found that most courses were for primary returners. The training institutions said they had run 12 courses for the primary sector but in the secondary sector only a course for home economics teachers.