Opinion Former Article

Teacher supply in crisis

Nearly two thirds (65%) of teachers surveyed by the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union say they have seriously considered leaving the teaching profession in the last 12 months, in a further sign of the crisis engulfing teacher supply.

73% say they have seriously considered leaving their current job in the last year.

Teachers at the NASUWT’s Annual Conference in Birmingham have warned that the education system is engulfed in a teacher supply crisis.

Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, said:

“Whilst the Government continues publicly to deny that there is a teacher supply crisis, it is clear that there is one from the evident signs of panic emanating from the DfE.

“The language has changed from a challenge to a serious problem.

“Old failed policies such as troops into teaching are being recycled, as the announcement in the last few weeks indicated.

“Ministers are writing covertly to ITT institutions asking them to relax the rigour on skills tests for NQTs.

“The Education Secretary is engaged in public handwringing about teacher workload.

“Glossy TV teacher recruitment adverts have appeared, which fool no one.

“The crisis will not end until the government takes responsibility for and takes action to address the devastating impact of its relentless attacks on teachers’ pay, workload and working conditions.”


NASUWT Press Office contacts:
Ben Padley 07785 463 119
Lena Davies 07867 392 746
Sarah Cull 07920 711 069

Notes to editors
The NASUWT’s Annual Conference is being held at the ICC in Birmingham from 30 March to 2 April.

The online survey of NASUWT members attracted 4,080 responses from NASUWT members during February and March 2018.

The full text of the motion is below:

Javay Welter to move,
Madeleine Cooper to second:
Conference is concerned that schools are finding it increasingly difficult to fill teacher vacancies and that governments and administrations have been missing recruitment targets for trainee teachers.
Conference is aware that:
(i) teachers are increasingly leaving state-funded schools before they reach retirement;
(ii) unrealistic targets, workload, league tables, micro-management and inspection are some of the barriers to teacher retention and
(iii) governments’ interventions to support and retain the existing teaching workforce have been inadequate.
Conference urges the National Executive to:
(a) continue to lobby governments and administrations to set out plans to ensure that the teacher retention crisis is addressed;
(b) meet with governments and administrations to share evidence that more teachers are leaving before retirement due to current working conditions and
(c) continue to pursue workload reduction strategies with governments and administrations.

Lena Davies
Press & Media Officer
0121 457 6250/07867 392746

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