21 April 2015
ASCL has drawn up a 10-point plan to tackle the ongoing teacher recruitment crisis, with proposals for both government and the teaching profession:
1. Expand the number and autonomy of School-Centred Initial Teacher Training networks (SCITTs)
SCITTs have effectively led school-based initial teacher education for several years. They have a successful track record not only in educating beginner teachers but also in retaining them. Encourage more schools to join SCITTs.
2. Coordinate the development of SCITTs at a national level
Oversee the development and coordination of a pipeline of SCITTs at national level and stimulate them in areas of the country where recruitment is most difficult.
3. Protect teacher training providers in areas of the country where recruitment is most difficult
With the current drop in applications, teacher training providers that cannot fill enough places to make ends meet and cover their costs might pull out. Consider safety net arrangements for training providers faced with a shortage of applicants but serving parts of the country where their disappearance would worsen supply problems.
4. Launch a recruitment and retention offer for teachers in areas where there is difficulty in recruitment
Fund high-performing multi-academy trusts to recruit good and outstanding teachers and middle leaders on flexible contracts which enable deployment to schools in local areas where there is difficulty in recruiting and/or retention. Include a ‘disruption payment’ as a financial incentive for teachers on these contracts and pay accommodation expenses.
5. Commit to pay off the annual repayment of some student loans for as many years as eligible teachers remain in state-funded schools
This incentive could be costed and targeted on the most severe shortage areas/subjects. It would be a successor to the ‘golden handshake’ acting as an incentive to teach.
6. Review and modify the Teacher Supply Model and the allocation of initial teacher education places
Ensure the Teacher Supply Model is able to take account of regional variation in supply and demand, ensuring there are enough teachers in each sector, subject and region.
7. Support a profession-led campaign to attract people into teaching
The teacher shortage and its impact is of such concern that a commitment from government to work in partnership with associated agencies to address the issue is necessary.
8. Implement the recommendations in the Carter Review
Develop a core curriculum for initial teacher education including a strong foundation in subject knowledge and the method and practice of teaching, behaviour management, assessment and preparation for teaching students with special educational needs and disabilities.
9. Ensure trainee teachers have a strong foundation in the method and practice of teaching and subject knowledge
There is an opportunity for schools and higher education to work together to ensure that teachers entering the profession have a strong foundation in the method and practice of teaching and subject knowledge. In the best examples of partnership work this is already the case, establishing an approach which could be further developed elsewhere.
10. Develop a professional learning ladder, of which initial teacher education is the first rung, led and quality-assured by the profession
Now is the time to develop the ability of SCITTs and teaching schools to put in place high-quality professional learning for all teachers, in which initial teacher education is the first rung on a professional learning ladder.
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