So I got to reading the Teacher Recruitment and Retention Report here:

There is a shortage of teachers and this is a continuing challenge for the education sector in England, particularly for certain subjects and regions.

The Governement need to raise the status of the teaching profession to potential recruits & wider society. Perhaps this can be done through Subject Associations like the Mathematical Association (@Mathematical_A), the Association of Teachers of Mathematics (@ATMMathematics) and/or through other organisations perhaps the Chartered College of Teaching (@CharteredColl)

They (the Government) have missed the targets for initial teacher education for the last five years. Now this does not seem too bad.. well except we have had a growing Primary and secondary population during this time .. More Students .. Less Teachers. And this year there has been a decrease in the total number of new entrants to postgraduate and undergraduate ITT … Could things be getting worse… well geography, biology and history were the only secondary school subjects that exceeded their target… And the target for primary school teachers was met. BUT all other secondary subjects were below target. Recruitment in computing was where the target was missed by the biggest margin of all the EBacc subjects. Only 68% of ITT places were filled. Since I now know you are interested in the Maths figure: the proportion of Maths and Physics Teachers were:

Physics trainees recruited 81%

Mathematics trainees recruited 84%

So if you thought that Maths had trouble with teacher recruitment, think of poor D&T as they only reached 41% of their recruitment target this year.

That said of course, History need only recruit 1 in 25 graduates. In 2014/2015,

Maths & Physics needed to attract 1 in every 5 maths and physics graduates So there is still some work to do.

I’ve already alluded to an increase in the student population, but here are some numbers from the actual report:

The secondary school population due to rise to 3.04 million by 2020 and to peak at 3.33 million in 2025. Have you thought much about how will this affect you / your school?And we have mentioned that the Primary school population has been rising since 2009, well it reached 4.5 million in 2016. Thankfully this is now due to slow a little so we can see how things go.

The report makes it clear that there are still plenty of routes into teaching, in fact it makes reference to there being “Lots of routes into teaching”. There is however, still a shortage in some subjects (incl. Maths) so I will be interested to see if they manage to identify some strategies that will actually help recruit and retain teachers in the classroom. Not that I want to bombard you with stats, BUT, more than 10% of teachers leave within one year of qualifying and 30% of teachers leave within 5 years. An NFER report showed Science teachers were most likely to consider leaving 31% whilst only 17% of Maths teachers were considering leaving…ONLY 17% … that is still quite a worrying figure if you ask me !! (Which you obviously were going to !!!)

It is good to note in the report that: Peter Seller says: “Teachers will say they are not particularly motivated by pay” – which I guess is true – but when Maths teachers are also likely to be offered high salaries outside of teaching it is easy to see why some might be tempted to leave the classroom. And since the Government already struggles to recruit enough teachers to ITT each year, it sort of makes the retention of teachers ever more important. NOTE: ever more important !!

Going back to why teachers might leave, 44% of primary school leaders and 42% of secondary school leaders said it was the pressure of workload was the main reason teachers’ left their school. There is obviously a lot of discussion to be had around this.

A quick question to ask is “How many hours do you work?” According to the report, teachers in England work an average of 48.2 hours per week… if you look at the evidence there is reason to believe Core Subjects, Maths, English, Science all tend to do more than this.

I’ll let you go and read the report now, but as a final note I can say watch out for Summer 2017: The government has a PLAN !! That should include it to … “be published before the end of the school summer term 2017″… When was the SMITH Report due again?