The Teacher Recruitment and Retention Strategy and Supply

The Teacher Recruitment and Retention Strategy and Supply

Recruiting teachers, then getting them to stay in teaching, has become a serious problem.

For a while the retention crisis didn’t get as much attention as deserved. Now the penny has dropped and a government response published: the Teacher Recruitment and Retention Strategy.

The 4 key points

  1. More supportive schools - schools are increasingly “accountable” for their success. This has led some schools and school leaders to place lots of pressure on their staff, burdening them with heavy workloads. The Department for Education is currently trying to simplify school accountability so it’s very clear what schools should and shouldn’t be focusing on. Working with Ofsted, the DfE is trying to reduce workload through removing unnecessary admin tasks and schools’ fixation with data (see our previous article on this). The idea is to create a more pleasant workplace.

  2. Greater focus for teachers new to the job - many teachers fresh to the profession are leaving. To stop this, the DfE is introducing the Early Careers Framework. This will be a funded package which will see new teachers have reduced timetables, additional financial support and dedicated mentoring.

  3. Flexible teaching and new qualifications - Something which many teachers dislike about the job is its inflexibility. The DfE is exploring options to try to make teaching as flexible as is possible. These ideas include encouraging job sharing and creating a new timetabling tools for schools. The DfE is also going to increase scope for professional development for classroom teachers, with new qualifications to support the CPD.

  4. Making routes into teaching more straightforward - with so many different ways to become a teacher, the government wants to simplify the process. They are introducing a “one-stop” route to initial teacher training, with new initiatives to get more people into the classroom.


What could this mean for supply teachers?

  • Possibly a kinder working environment. There is going to be less stress on internal assessments, a reduction in teaching-to-the-test and maybe less planning and marking.

  • Possibly fewer long term roles. If teachers have increased flexibility and greater freedom internally, schools might have better capacity to cover internally.

  • Possibly fewer supply teachers. One of the main reasons that teachers turn to supply is that it brings flexibility. If flexibility can be achieved through working with one, or even a small group of schools, then teachers may consider flexiteaching instead of supply.

  • Possibly more fully qualified teachers. If the route is easier, better funded and teaching is well publicised, then there is the real possibility that more people will pick teaching.

 

So the strategy could bring some changes. But this is just a strategy, implementation is a different matter. And all these changes will take some years to come in to play.

  • Teaching with a stammer: How teaching has improved my fluency

    Managing a stammer as a teacher can be a challenge. Some days are better than others and you’re not always sure why. Over the past four years the challenges of teaching, and specifically the varied challenges supply teaching offers, have helped me to not only better manage my speech but have also improved my stammer overall. Having a stammer can be unpredictable – you may find yourself less fluent than usual for a myriad of reasons such as speaking in an unfamiliar setting, speaking to certain people you’re familiar/unfamiliar with, a particular combination of sounds in a word, talking over the phone or speaking in a certain language.

    Read more

  • Why Choose Supply Teaching?

    Venturing into the unknown is always a daunting experience, especially when faced with unfamiliar destinations and seas of new faces wondering who you are. Despite any reservations you might have, you will find that supply work provides a rich teaching experience and with every new assignment you will gain more confidence.

    Supply teaching has many benefits and really works around you! If you find that you’re concerned about budgeting or your CPD you can always look to the new features Airsupply are launching for financial management and to the OneStepCPD platform through their Twinkl partnership.

    You might be considering supply teaching for various reasons – perhaps you’d like a break from teaching full-time, you might be moving to a new town or maybe you are an NQT looking to gain a range of experience. Whatever your reasons may be, here is what supply teaching can offer you!

    Read more

  • Purposeful Time Fillers

    As a supply teacher, it is always handy to have a few extra activities up your sleeve just in case a lesson runs short. Having a few fun but purposeful activities which help consolidate children’s literacy or numeracy skills, or promote discussion, is a practical way to use additional time. If you ever find yourself with time to spare, here are some activities you could try with your classes.

    Read more

  • Reflective Practice as a Supply Teacher

    During your time as a trainee or full-time teacher, you are constantly evaluating your own teaching practice through the exercise of formative assessment, conversations with your colleagues and class observations. Plunging into the world of supply teaching opens you up to a range of benefits but you may feel a little lost without the continuity of being in the same class day in and day out.

    You may begin to wonder, “How am I doing as a teacher?” or “Did I deliver that lesson well today?”. You could end up having a bit of a bad day and feeling like you have no one to reflect with or no clear steps to help improve your practice down the line. This may not apply to supply teachers in long-term placements but for those of you who have questioned how you’re getting on in day-to-day supply life, here are a couple of tips on how to continue being a reflective practitioner.

    Read more

  • Why your health and wellbeing matters

    Teaching is tough—we know that and you know that. It's both physically and mentally demanding. In a 2019 survey by the charity Education Support more than three-quarters of teachers described themselves as stressed. Excessive workload and working hours are continually cited by teachers as the main causes of workplace stress.

    Read more