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Teacher recruitment crisis needs decisive actions

Valeriya Andrievskaya on the teacher shortage that is expected to hit the UK by 2022.

England is more likely to face a shortage of educators, head teachers and assistant heads by 2022, a report suggests. In this case, many schools would be forced to hire under-qualified teachers that may result in low performances in schools. Therefore, it is important to understand and solve the root reasons behind the shortage, which Education Minister Nicky Morgan says is her top priority.

It argues that the problem lies in the growing number of pupils and the early retirement of school teachers. However, according to the annual survey of the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR), the starting salary for graduates has been increased to £28,000, while teaching salary remains at £22,244. Hence, there is no motivation for graduates to enter the teaching profession seeing as they can get a better-paid job elsewhere.

Moreover, a £600 million cut in schools’ Educational Services Grant and a six per cent real-terms cut has had a big impact on the growing recruitment crisis. Some schools are on the verge of bankruptcy, meaning that school staff would be cut and less money would be spent on recruitment. The tighter budget might affect essential resources for schools and may result in lower levels of student performance.

Currently, teachers suffer from a workload   filled with an increasing number of administration and curriculum changes as many schools have been converted to academies. The whole situation does not leave teachers with a choice other than to move to a private or international school where conditions are better or to leave the profession entirely.

Consequently, the teacher recruitment crisis is an issue that cannot be solved at once. It needs speedy and thoughtful governmental decisions to give UK pupils the education they deserve.

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