Campaign to tackle Norfolk’s teacher recruitment crisis officially launched

Andy Wood speaks at the launch of the Educate Norfolk campaign

Andy Wood speaks at the launch of the Educate Norfolk campaign - Credit: Archant

School, business and council leaders have joined forces to officially launch a campaign to tackle the teacher recruitment crisis that is affecting attempts to improve education in Norfolk.

The Educate Norfolk initiative, which aims to attract more teachers to the county by promoting the benefits of living and working in Norfolk, was created by heads after it became clear many were finding it difficult to attract high-quality candidates to fill vacancies at their schools.

Andy Wood, chief executive of Adnams, and chairman of the skills board for the New Anglia LEP, said yesterday's launch at the Hethel Engineering Centre was about 'the economic opportunity that exist in Norfolk'.

He said: '[Educate Norfolk] is a bottom-up approach from headteachers, for headteachers, supported by Norfolk County Council. It's about you guys saying 'we see a need, we think it's important, we need to change it'.'

The strategy has three aims:

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• To show Norfolk as a 'vibrant, stimulating, ambitious, beautiful and safe place to work and live'.

• Give young people access to 'inspirational, highly-motivated, aspirational teachers and leaders'.

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• Increase the number of high-quality teachers and leaders available to work in Norfolk.

The initiative includes sending Norfolk heads to teacher recruitment fairs to sell the benefits of moving to the county, a template for schools to agree interest-free loans for new teachers, and encouraging existing teachers to remain in the profession with improved continuing professional development. It also aims to tempt former teachers back into the classroom, and Simon Fox, principal of Flegg High School, said: 'We are saying to people who have fallen out of the profession, 'come back. There are new opportunities and developments'. We need to make the most use of that amazing resource that is out there.'

He added: 'We really believe more people should be excited about coming to Norfolk. We know it's not just a great place to teach; it's a great place to live and work.

'More people need to know that, and how forward-thinking a part of the country it is in many ways.'

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