Teacher Talent: Time to Rewrite the Rulebook

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Tes launches a new white paper with ideas to help address the challenge of teacher talent and recruitment in England. 

Alex Crossman had a problem.

He wanted to make a difference but, as the managing director of a major investment bank, he says he came to the realisation that “my career had very little scope for actually helping anyone, other than myself and my family”.

So, at the age of 37, he quit. Then, over the next few years, he built a career in the profession he believes has the most potential to make an impact on society: teaching.

Today, Crossman is headteacher of the inclusive Charter School East Dulwich, in south-east London. His motivation to influence change in society is typical of what drives our teachers – day in, day out – and what ultimately sustains many through often challenging circumstances.

For too many, the trials and challenges are too much, and they leave. Any shortage of quality teachers is a serious problem; it is well established that the quality of teaching makes the greatest difference in education outcomes.

And a shortage is what we have.

Recruitment and retention issues already dominate the education agenda and are recognised as priorities at the highest levels of both the profession and government.

So, what’s the answer?

This white paper uses Tes’s unique expertise to set out the causes of the teacher recruitment and retention challenge in England – and propose possible solutions.

We first look at how to better retain teachers in the system, then how to improve their movement between jobs through their careers and, finally, how to increase the numbers coming into the profession.

Our intention is to inspire the imagination of government, schools, teachers and the sector at large. The recruitment and retention problem is real, and it poses a serious threat to the school system.

We want to start a conversation that will lead to real change in schools: change that will enable more great teachers like Alex Crossman to enter the profession – and mean that fewer are lost to it.

You can download a digital copy of the report here. What do you think of the ideas? Have we missed anything? We’d love you to hear what you think.