ASCL comment on Sutton Trust recruitment gap report

10 July 2019

Commenting on the Sutton Trust report ‘The Recruitment Gap: Attracting teachers to schools serving disadvantaged communities’, Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said:

“This report shows very clearly that the teacher recruitment and retention crisis is most sharply felt in schools serving disadvantaged communities thus making it more difficult to raise educational standards and close the social divide.

“One thing that the government could do immediately to tackle this issue is to review an accountability system which often stigmatises these schools and makes it more difficult to recruit and retain teachers and leaders.

“School performance tables use measures that effectively penalise schools in disadvantaged communities, and the inspection system judges struggling schools with the blunt label of ‘inadequate’ which inevitably makes recruitment and improvement much harder to achieve.

“We need a system in which teachers and leaders aspire to work in schools serving disadvantaged communities and a good start would be to put an end to the language of failure.”