Government lacks long-term vision to tackle teacher recruitment crisis, MPs warn

Pupils at Northgate High School eager to join in a discussion during their personal, social and heal

Pupils at Northgate High School eager to join in a discussion during their personal, social and health education lesson. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

The government lacks a long-term vision to address teacher shortages, a cross-party group of MPs has said.

The Education Committee, which scrutinises the Department for Education (DfE), says rising pupil numbers and changes to school accountability are likely to worsen the ongoing recruitment crisis.

It has urged the government to place greater emphasis on retaining teachers and not just focus on filling gaps.

The report covers a range of issues relating to teacher recruitment and retention, highlighting concerns over teacher workload, the status of teachers, shortcomings in the DfE's teacher supply data, and the ability of teachers to access training for their continuing professional development.

MP Neil Carmichael, chairman of the Education Committee, said: 'The quality of education our children receive fundamentally relies on the quality of teachers in our schools. Schools are facing significant teacher shortages as a result of the government consistently failing to meet recruitment targets.

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'The government must now put in place a long-term plan to tackle the problems of recruiting and retaining teachers and address issues, such as teacher workload and access to professional development, which can drive teachers away from the classroom and into alternative careers.'

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Ofsted should also provide greater clarity of its requirements to schools, monitor teacher workload in its school inspections and publish details of how consistency between inspectors is evaluated, it says.

Chris Keates, general secretary of NASUWT, said: 'We have been presenting evidence of the deepening teacher recruitment crisis for some time but the Government is in denial.

'This report should act as a wake-up call to ministers that falling back on sticking plaster solutions such as the failed National Teaching Service will do nothing to address the systemic causes of the teacher supply crisis.

'It is the government's own policies which have resulted in excessive and increasing teacher workloads, dwindling pay, starting salaries which are increasingly uncompetitive with other graduate professions and the relentless pressure of the high-stakes accountability regime.'

• Have you been affected by the teacher recruitment crisis? Email

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