Teacher shortages in England.

‘The Government has missed its teacher recruitment targets for the last four years despite spending £700 million annually on their training, according to the spending watchdog.

The report released by the National Audit Office also revealed that indicators suggest teacher shortages are growing.

The report states that the Department for Education (DfE) has a weak understanding of the extent of local teacher supply shortages and whether they are being locally resolved.

It highlights the problem in poorer areas, with some 54% of leaders in schools with large proportions of disadvantaged pupils saying attracting and keeping good teachers was a major problem, compared with 33% of leaders in other schools.

Additionally, the NAO says that more secondary school classes are being taught by teachers without a relevant post-A level qualification in their subject.- ITV

‘The Department for Education however has dismissed the report, saying that "more people are entering the teaching profession than leaving it, there are more teachers overall and the number of teachers per pupil hasn't suffered. Lashing out at the unions, a spokeswoman for the department continued: "Indeed the biggest threat to teacher recruitment is that the teaching unions and others, use every opportunity to talk down teaching as a profession, continually painting a negative picture of England's schools."

The National Association of Head Teachers general secretary Russell Hobby highlighted the "significant difference between official statistics and the perception of those in schools, "We'd welcome the opportunity to sit down formally with the DfE ... but as yet, they are not willing to acknowledge the scale of the problem," he said.’ – International Business Times

Voice from the frontline:

The teacher shortage is acute, and the government needs to accept this.

I am head teacher of a large, oversubscribed, high attaining primary school and I cannot get staff. I am not getting a single applicant for jobs - not one.

I have several agency staff working in my school, all of whom are very expensive and many of whom only wish to work part time so I have classes with job share teachers.

I am not able to pick and choose my own staff at interview, because there are no interviews, so I am reliant on agencies to supply teachers of a reasonable quality. For my last two jobs they have been unable to do this.

The situation is dire and getting worse. Ultimately it is the children who suffer as we do not have the quality of teachers they deserve.

It is totally infuriating and demoralising to hear the government keep repeating that there is no crisis.

Come and visit my school, and the others in the local area, and see what it's really like.

Anonymous head teacher - BBC

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