ASCL responds to NFER report on teacher training bursaries

Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, comments on a report from the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) on the impact of teacher training bursaries.
“Bursaries can only ever be a partial answer to teacher shortages. Last year the government missed its postgraduate recruitment targets in both secondary and primary education and in most secondary subjects. Nearly a third of teachers leave teaching within five years of qualifying. Teacher pay has fallen in real terms since 2010. We are in the midst of the worst teacher recruitment and retention crisis in living memory and there is a substantial risk to educational standards.
“Earlier this year the independent School Teachers’ Review Body set out its objective to start to address the structural deterioration in the pay of teachers relative to comparable professions and the inadequate recruitment of graduates. The government cannot afford to bank on bursaries and other targeted payments to patch up a broken system. It must address the underlying problem of inadequate teacher pay and excessive systemic workload and it must ensure that schools have the funding they need to pay their staff.”