Send trainees to tough spots, says think-tank

9th September 2005 at 01:00
Failing schools should be allowed to take on trainee teachers to help tackle the high staff turnover, a think tank is recommending In a book published this week the Institute for Public Policy Research says its research shows that "challenging schools" find it more difficult to recruit and keep teachers.

It argues that it is "imperative" that schools in special measures or serious weaknesses should take part in initial teacher training because so many newly-qualified teachers take their first job in the school they trained in.

"At the moment this is very difficult because Ofsted criticises ITT providers that use challenging schools," writes Anna Bush in "Choice and Equity in Teacher Supply".

The think tank wants Ofsted to support the use of trainees in failing schools.

Ofsted said its concern was for the outcome for trainee teachers. It did not ban ITT providers from working with schools in special measures, but assessed the training and support offered by them on a case by case basis.

The IPPR has concluded that increasing teachers' pay would not resolve the problems associated with teaching in the most difficult schools.

Pay has risen significantly since 1999 and schools already have the flexibility to use additional money as a recruitment incentive.

Instead the think tank, which based its conclusions on questionnaires sent to 240 heads, and teachers in 10 schools, said overwork and poor pupil behaviour were the most common barriers to working in challenging schools.

It recommended that heads ensured all staff and pupils were signed up to a clear set of rules on behaviour.

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