‘Crisis? What crisis?’ (updated – again)

22 Mar

Update: 22 March 2017

Acceptances to teacher training programmes in England and Wales down 6.9%

Update: 21 February 2017

Commons Education Committee report, Recruitment and retention of teachers  Graphics from the report:  ITT, Working hours, Professional status

Voice’s response


Update: 26 January 2017

Voice comments on overseas teacher recruitment drive

Update: 1 December 2016

Recruitment targets missed (SecEd) and Ofsted Chief Inspector’s recognition of ‘crisis’.

Update: 11 November 2016

School leader shortage (TES) and BBCReport (Teach First, Teaching Leaders, Future Leaders Trust)

Update: 1 November 2016

Housing costs add to crisis (Guardian)

Update: 24 October 2016

“Almost a third of the new teachers who started jobs in English state schools in 2010 had left the sector five years later, ministers have confirmed.” (BBC News)

More support needed for trainee teachers.

Update: 10 October 2016

EPI report highlights ‘unsustainable pressure’ on teaching profession

Update: 10 June 2016

“Ministers ‘have no plan to address teacher shortages'” (BBC) : report from Public Accounts Committee.

Government must heed teacher recruitment crisis wake-up call, not hit the snooze button

Update: 14 April 2016

The number of applicants for teacher training in England fell by 6.5% last year compared with the previous 12 months, according to a new analysis from UCAS, although more people were accepted to train

Update: 26 February 2016

Ofsted highlights teacher retention crisis caused by “morale drain”

Update: 10 February 2016

Teacher shortages report is “stark warning” for government “in denial”

“The Government is in denial over teacher recruitment and retention”: Huffington Post blogs, 10 February 2016

Update: 20 January 2016

Teacher recruitment crisis warning (BBC Breakfast)

Update: 11 January 2016

Funding cuts will hit teacher quality, say education unions

Update: December 2015

Voice’s Evidence to Commons Education Committee’s Supply of Teachers Inquiry

Update: 19 November 2015

“Teacher shortage hitting recruitment”:  BBC investigation

Update: 13 November 2015

Nearly one in six teachers starting in England’s schools last year qualified overseas, according to official figures obtained by the Times Educational Supplement (TES).

Update: 30 October 2015

“Funding for primary trainees slashed” (TES)

“Bursary cuts ‘risk primary teacher numbers'” (BBC)

Update: 27 October 2015

“Sleepwalking into UK’s worst teacher recruitment crisis” by Estelle Morris in The Guardian 

“National teacher recruitment drive gets underway” (DfE)  #teachersmake

Do let us know your views and experiences


Update, 7 September 2015:






BBC News: “Teaching unions warn of English school recruitment crisis” 


‘Crisis? What crisis?’, 10 July 2015

By General Secretary Deborah Lawson

Nick Gibb claims that There is no recruitment crisis (TES, 3 July 2015) yet schools face a triple crisis of recruitment, retention and funding.

As Ann Mroz comments (TES, 10 July 2015) Ignoring the recrutiment crisis won’t make it go away“. Mr Gibb has said that “recruitment is a challenge as the economy improves and competition for new graduates intensifies” (BBC News.)

Indeed. The real-term reduction in teachers’ pay is starting to result in problems in attracting graduates into the profession and retaining experienced teachers. The recruitment and retention “challenge” will intensify if teaching salaries fail to keep up with other professions.   There is an increasing need for teachers and teaching assistants yet, while student numbers are rising, they are being made redundant because of funding pressures, including higher National Insurance and pension contributions.

Many schools are also struggling to recruit headteachers. There is little incentive to take on a job with increasing responsibility and pressure to perform in a very short timescale but decreasing job security. 

At the same time (“Hundreds of ‘good’ primaries could be classed as ‘coasting’”) we face the ridiculous situation of schools being classed as both ‘good’, or even ‘outstanding’, and ‘coasting’.  Is it any wonder there’s a crisis when it seems that the Government is more interested in headlines and labels than people and the funding that they need to do the job? 

Further information

“Reduce teacher and headteacher workload and promote work-life balance for all education staff (from www.voicetheunion.org.uk/manifesto2015).  

“The level of teacher workload as identified by DfE consultation and research is excessive.  Workload drivers identified include external pressure such as government change to education policy, and Ofsted inspections that promote an unhealthy culture of fear and which lead to internal pressure to  ‘gold-plate’ evidence in pursuit of a good judgement, especially at a time of uncertainty and curriculum change. All this leads to long working hours and an inability to achieve a reasonable work-life balance, which is beginning, as the economy picks up, to not only create a recruitment crisis but also one of retention. ”  

[Further information: www.voicetheunion.org.uk/workloadchallenge]

Funding crisis (July 2015)  


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32 Responses to “‘Crisis? What crisis?’ (updated – again)”

  1. Richard Fraser 22. Jul, 2015 at 1:55 pm #

    BBC: “Rise in secondary school pupils over next decade” http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-33623500

  2. Richard Fraser 24. Jul, 2015 at 9:31 am #

    “Schools struggling to recruit headteachers and staff” (TES) https://www.tes.co.uk/news/school-news/breaking-news/schools-struggling-recruit-headteachers-and-staff-exclusive-tes

  3. Richard Fraser 25. Sep, 2015 at 12:40 pm #

    TES: “School leaders: share your school’s story and help us build an accurate national picture of the recruitment crisis” https://tes_global.formstack.com/forms/leadershipsurvey

  4. Richard Fraser 05. Nov, 2015 at 10:22 am #

    Education Support in SecEd: http://www.sec-ed.co.uk/best-practice/are-you-notquittingteaching/

  5. Richard Fraser 19. Nov, 2015 at 10:43 am #

    More warnings on recruitment crisis: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-34866850

  6. Richard Fraser 24. Nov, 2015 at 10:41 am #

    “Teachers work ‘longer classroom hours'” (BBC) http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-34902882

  7. Richard Fraser 04. Mar, 2016 at 3:04 pm #

    Could flexible working help to solve teacher shortages in England?

  8. Richard Fraser 24. Mar, 2016 at 9:47 am #

    TES survey: http://www.tesglobal.com/index

  9. Deborah Lawson, General Secretary 26. Mar, 2016 at 1:52 pm #

    I passed the time travelling to Brighton this morning by following the speech Nicky Morgan gave to the NASUWT Conference on Twitter. It was interesting and alarming, many elements of which were not received well with reports of jeers, laughter and heckling from the audience. It is disappointing that another opportunity has been missed to listen to unions and enter into real, sustainable and meaningful dialogue with them. I Challenge her assumption that teacher unions are to blame for the current teacher recruitment and retention ‘challenge’ – crisis – and for ‘talking down’ the profession because we publicly challenge and question government education policy and or the evidence on which it is based. Starting a ‘blame game’ will not be productive , will not improve outcomes for pupils or teachers and will distract from what is important. We should not be intent on deciding Who is right, but WHAT is right. And do it together.

  10. Richard Fraser 16. May, 2016 at 4:17 pm #

    “Supply teacher spend exceeds £800m” (BBC) http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-36301843

  11. Richard Fraser 06. Jul, 2016 at 5:06 pm #

    Voice comments on STRB report

  12. Richard Fraser 15. Jul, 2016 at 9:37 am #

    Challenge to meet: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-36796999

  13. Kaisra Khan 11. Oct, 2016 at 11:56 pm #

    I was one of a group of teachers and teacher union representatives who informed the DFE almost 2 years ago that teachers were marking 30 pupils’ books per night, which is for one class . If teachers have 6 classes, it means their weekends are taken up with marking too. Often planning, preparation and assessment time is spent entering data on online data systems, writing pupil logs and phoning parents of unruly pupils. If there is a week of tests, which will take time to mark; the marking of pupils’ books has to be delayed, resulting in a backlog. Teachers cannot physically sustain this pace resulting in stress and a feeling of inadequacy. Members of the DFE listened attentively, but as yet no remedies have come the way of the teachers. It seems as if we were heard but not listened to. Consequently, teachers continue to leave the profession in large numbers.
    Kaisra Khan

  14. Richard Fraser 12. Sep, 2017 at 12:32 pm #

    Government must do more to retain and develop teachers – and pay them more

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