The think tank says targeted pay increases could reduce shortages. Education Secretary Damian Hinds has made staff recruitment a top priority. Former education minister, David Laws, now chairman of the Education Policy Institute, says the government faces a significant challenge to recruit enough teachers particularly in subjects like maths and sciences.
Sputnik: What did you make of the report in to teaching?
Nansi Ellis: Obviously it sets out the problems we’ve known about for a while in terms of teacher recruitment and retention which has been getting worse across the board for at least the last 5 years. It gave some interesting suggestions, of how to take forward the plans to improve the recruitment and retention of teachers.
I think by focussing on pay supplements and for some teachers, it misses a lot of the issues around why teachers leave the profession. We know one of the biggest reasons they leave is their workload.
Sputnik: How can the teaching shortage be improved going forward?
They need to keep looking at teachers’ pay, because the gap between teachers’ pay and the pay in other graduate jobs professions is widening now the economy is getting better.
The government also needs to do more and think about workload and focus on the impact of accountability measures. They need to look at the changes around exams that we’ve had in England this year, and to look really seriously at reforming Ofsted.
Sputnik: Do you think that the targeted incentive wages is a good idea?
We need to increase the pay across the board, but also make teaching a more attractive profession.
Teachers come into teaching because they want to make a difference to children’s lives and often they love there subject; they want to enthuse children with that subject knowledge.
What they get when they come in though is actually, a profession that is geared towards teaching to a test or exam; it’s about pupil’s performance rather than deep learning. That stops teaching giving their best to the profession and means there no longer engaged and reason why many of them leave.
Views and opinions expressed in this article are those of Nansi Ellis and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.