Staffing Crisis

Here I am again at a point of crisis regarding staffing. The demands of ofsted and the drive to become “good” has meant that I am facing yet another staffing crisis. Over the last 6 weeks I have seen 3 teachers make the decision to move on and leave the demands of the primary classroom behind. The introduction of performance related pay, tighter targets for teachers and higher expectations have quite rightly meant that many teachers have had to re-evaluate their careers. This, though, has caused a knock on effect to recruitment.
I was lucky enough to find an outstanding teacher (nqt) who hadn’t been snapped up due to her time out travelling. After a short stint in my school on supply I recognised the potential and acted quick to secure her into a position on my staff. What a huge relief this was, as I have been finding it almost impossible to find teachers to replace those that are leaving this Easter. Notice dates have left me turning to supply agencies again to find me a teacher who is at least reasonable to join us for the summer term. Only two weeks ago I needed a supply teacher to cover sickness only to find not one local supply agency with a single teacher available. With ofsted due anytime I have no idea how I am going to achieve the standard of “good” when I don’t have any teacher, let alone a good one, to replace two of the he ones who are leaving me. I have managed to recruit for September by approaching teachers I know are good but I have this big gaping hole until July.
I am not on my own. This week alone I have received e-mails from two other local schools who are desperately seeking teachers for the summer term. Responses to these requests have been met with a barrage of other heads telling their stories of how they have been without teachers for the last term.
Is this the start if a staffing crisis? Is this due to teachers deciding enough is enough or is it that expectations have raised the bar so we are finding that there are not enough good teachers out there at all?
I only have 7 classes in my school so it really shouldn’t be impossible to find quality teachers for so few classes. I count my blessings I am not in a larger school.
It would be lovely to one day wake up and go into work knowing that all the children in my school are getting a good deal.

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About headteacher2014

I am a headteacher of a primary school in England

Posted on March 23, 2014, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Currently training teachers were born in the early 1990s. 905 thousand people were born in 1992, only 690 thousand in 2002, so any problem involving “a shortage of qualified young people” this year is going to be massively worse in ten years’ time. Birth rates in the 1990s dropped to historic lows. Total Fertility Rate, TFR, the number of children had by each woman, was around 1.7. Women, historically and even more so today the vast majority of classroom teachers in primary, have a wide range of education and career options open to them at 18, only one of which ends up with a BEd in Primary.

    Currently retiring, or considering early retirement, teachers were born in the 1950s or early 1960s. Birth rates were at historic highs, with a TFR over over 2.5. 940 thousand people were born in 1964, but the structure of society and education meant that women were disproportionately excluded from higher education and disproportionately likely to end up with a CertEd in Primary from a two year teacher training course.

    The situation today is a rapidly rising population of children (from 690k born 2002 to 800k born 2012) while the obvious pool to recruit teachers from over the coming years, those born 1990-2000, shrinks, and the historic sub-pool for recruiting primary teachers (women) has a much wider range of options than they did.

    After the war, the government built emergency teacher training colleges. Now, there’s a shrinking pool of teachers and an expanding pool of children. As you’re finding. Planning, eh? Sometimes, the man in Whitehall should have been allowed to know best…

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