Podcast | Season 3 | Episode 11: Breaking Down the Ongoing Recruitment and Retention Crisis, Labour's Plan for Education, and Details of the Education Select Committee Meeting
Season 3 | Episode 11: Breaking Down the Ongoing Recruitment and Retention Crisis, Labour's Plan for Education, and Details of the Education Select Committee Meeting feat. James Noble-Rogers
In this new episode of the Schools & Academies Show Podcast, we give you a round-up of all the education news from the month of July, bringing you the latest headlines and analysis from our expert guest.
This month we are joined by James Noble-Rogers, Executive Director of the Universities Council for the Education of Teachers, who will be sharing his expert insight on the ongoing issue of recruitment and retention of teachers in schools.
- Ongoing recruitment and retention crisis
- Labour's plan for education
- Education select committee meeting on recruitment and retention
We return to the NEC, Birmingham on 22nd November for another content-packed day of learning and networking. Register your interest to hear exclusive event updates and announcements!
- Transcript of the Education Select Committee Meeting
- Labour's Breaking Down Barriers to Opportunity Pledge
Previous Episodes to Cover Teacher Recruitment:
- Season 3 | Episode 2: A New Prime Minister, School Achievement Targets and Teacher Recruitment
- Season 3 | Episode 6: NEU Strike Action, Teach First “Inadequate” Recruitment Target, and MAT CEO Pay Under Scrutiny
Listen to the full episode below.
Alex Wallace: Teacher recruitment and retention continues to be a thorn in the side. The education select committee meets to assess the problem. And Labour propose their workforce solution.
Sam Powell: Hello, and welcome back to another brand spanking new episode of the Schools & Academies Show Podcast, this time with a bit of a twist on the traditional format.
Alex Wallace: As always, we're going to give you a roundup of the latest news to come from the education sector. But this time, we're focusing it all around one central theme, that being teacher recruitment and retention.
Sam Powell: We figured that this topic was too big to contain just one news story. So today we're going to be going at it from all angles. And to help us out later we'll be joined by the Director of the University's Council for the Education of Teachers, James Noble Rogers.
Alex Wallace: Make sure you stay with us because it's going to be a good’n.
Sam Powell: For our Eagle ‘eared’ listeners, I think they have good hearing. Anyway, you'll notice that this isn't the first time we've tackled this. But for those of you who aren't here every month, we'll leave a link to the previous episodes where we discuss the topic in the description so you can hear all our coverage, including breaking down reports by the one and only Jack Worth.
Alex Wallace: As many of you will be aware, in March, a new inquiry into teacher recruitment, training and retention in English state schools was launched by the Education Committee. This was due to continued severe teacher shortages experienced by schools. With 2021 recording the largest number of openings in 11 years, with the hardest impacted is subjects being physics, design and technology and contemporary foreign languages. All of this against the backdrop of initial teacher training, becoming increasingly school-based and away from universities.
Sam Powell: Following the government's recent market review of the sector, the universities of Hull and Plymouth as well as University College Birmingham and London Southbank Universities will close their initial teacher training courses, taking with them a combined 90 years of delivering teacher training.
Alex Wallace: Many have commented on these course closures as being concerning and worry about the ramifications. Our guest, James himself commented on how these closures could have significant impact on teacher supply, which is especially concerning as Hull and Plymouth are considered cold spots for initial teacher training.
Sam Powell: Despite these potential pathways, closing the DfE is still doing everything they can to get more people into the profession, especially in cold areas. Recently, the DfE have offered in some areas tax free bursaries worth up to £27,000 and scholarships worth up to £29,000. For programs to boost subject knowledge in areas experiencing large shortages.
Alex Wallace: It's no surprise that this approach has been taken, as found in the recent Education Endowment Foundation’s evidence assessment showed that financial incentives have the largest wealth of evidence for improving teacher recruitment
Sam Powell: However, there are multiple other factors that the EEF have identified as potential boosters to teacher recruitment and retention, including flexible working, CPD opportunities, and opportunities for collaboration. These are present within the DfE strategy. However, the complexity of implementing these solutions means there are gaps in evidence about their effectiveness, and there is a need to explore their effectiveness further in recruitment and retention.
Alex Wallace: As you can tell, this is a huge and highly complex issue. So I think it's best we throw it over to our guest, James to help us untangle it a bit. James, could you introduce yourself to the audience and let them know a bit about yourself and your role within the sector?
James Noble Rogers: Okay, hi my name is James Noble Rogers, I'm Executive Director of the University's Council for the Education of Teachers or UCET for short. We're a membership body for the universities across the United Kingdom that are involved in teacher education and education research. And my job as Executive Director is to oversee the work of UCET and to lead on its relationships with government and on providing advice and support services to our member institutions.
Sam Powell: Okay, well, I guess let's just jump into it, James. Let's start by setting the scene around teacher recruitment and retention. So teacher vacancies have doubled in the last few years. And according to the most recent official data, more than 40,000 people left their jobs in teaching in the last year. Increasing workload and high levels of job dissatisfaction are major factors contributing to this ongoing teacher recruitment and retention crisis in the UK. With that in mind, what training do you think we need to have prospective teachers in order to keep them within the sector?
James Noble Rogers: As far as initial teacher education programs are concerned, and I think NFER data does confirm this that if teachers feel a sense of agency and autonomy in their jobs, that helps to keep them in profession, it keeps infused. And it makes them feel empowered over what they're doing on a day to day basis. And I think initial teacher education programs need to be structured and designed to give teachers the skills to exercise that degree of autonomy, and agency teaching is a profession. And as such teachers should be able and equipped to be able to draw upon and interpret a wide research base and make within national frameworks to make their own judgments about the kinds of approaches that best meet the needs of their pupils in particular contexts. It's not true to say a sunlight, there is only one way to teach. And therefore there is only one way to train a teacher, the research evidence doesn't back that up. So teachers need to be independent professional agents and the ITU programs need to give them the skills to draw upon a wide range of research to be able to interpret and apply that research in different contexts. And to be thinking professionals able to make their own decisions and to decide what works best for pupils in the particular circumstances they are working within. I mean, in other professions, you wouldn't say this is the only way to do this. You give the professionals the tools to make their own judgments. I think that's as far as initial teacher education is concerned. But we often overlook the importance of continuing professional development for teachers. And I think the similar rules apply there. I think teachers CPD programs also need to build up that confidence of teachers, for them to firstly build up their knowledge base, but also give them the research skills they need to draw upon. I mean, I think there's advantages and there are positives associated with the early career framework and with the new National Professional Qualifications, but they do seem to imply that there is again, there is one way to teach. And these are the things and the only things that new teachers need to learn. The approach to CPD needs to be broader than that. I look back with fondness at the pre 2010 situation where there was public subsidy for teachers undertaking master's level, CPD. And all the evidence showed funding was provided for Master's level CPD programs for teachers. It had to meet broad national frameworks and priorities. But within that universities were free to develop their own programs. And all the year on year evaluations of the impact of those masters level programs showed that they gave teachers increased confidence. They had improved subject knowledge, they felt more comfortable and confident about taking risks, and not just teaching to a script. And programs helped retain teachers in the profession, which is why I would like to see and we've argued for this in our evidence to the education select committee. Scholarships be made available to allow teachers who want to undertake CPD at Masters Degree level. Just before the 2010 election, we did have the new masters in teaching and learning, which was to be an entitlement for all newly qualified teachers. There were faults with some of the overprescription on that, but in principle, it was a good way forward. And I think that was very much a missed opportunity when funding for that. And the other master's programs which received government subsidy were removed.
Sam Powell: So you mentioned universities there and I want to stick with that for a little bit longer. We mentioned before that the Universities of Plymouth and Hull as well as University College Birmingham and London Southbank University are going to be taking their PGCE qualifications off the market, following the government's market review of the sector, taking with them about 90 years combined experience teacher training. What are trainee teachers or early career teachers gonna be missing out without having that theoretical underpinning in their practice by not having their training in an academically rigorous environment? Would you say?
James Noble Rogers: Well, I think potentially, they lose sort of teacher education that gives them the professional skills, the adaptability, the research analysis and things like that, which I think then they benefit from, in the profession. I don't want to sort of say one form of teacher education is better. I represent the university sector, and there's a lot of very good sketch provision out there. And a lot of that is delivered in partnership with universities. But if we lose the universities, you potentially lose that theoretical and intellectual underpinning of Teacher Education. And also those programs are particularly attracted to pipeline graduates who see that as a benefit, who want to undertake the teacher education in an academically robust and research rich way. Losing universities it also has other implications. Firstly, you'll lose potentially the access that student teachers have to the subject knowledge and research base that exists in other parts of those universities. There's also the loss of the central services, ICT support library support and pastoral support that central universities can provide students, which will also aid with retention on programs, you risk losing the partnership schools, which those universities work with, because if that university pulls out, there's absolutely no guarantee that the schools they've built up effective, and collegiate working relationships with over a number of years, there's no guarantee that there'll be one to work with another new IT provider with whom they haven't built up a pre-existing relationship. And if they go, you lose the student the placement opportunities, which those scores provided. And again, that impacts negatively on recruitment. And he also, and I think this hasn't been acknowledged enough, there's a strong pipeline between recruitment to PGCE courses at universities from undergraduates within the same institution. So a Maths graduate then saying, yes, I'd like to take it to PGCE. I'll take it here where I'm already familiar with the environment where I've built up relationships where I put down my roots, you also risk breaking that supply line.
Sam Powell: Okay, and one last question, just to set the scene which is that despite teacher recruitment being a challenge in most subjects in phases, bursaries are only occasionally offered for a narrow range of secondary level courses, with currently only nine out of the 17 secondary subjects having bursaries being offered. How effective do you think the implementation of financial incentives such as student loan reimbursements would be in attracting and retaining teachers?
James Noble Rogers: I mean, I think the bursary policy needs to be rethought they do help increase recruitment. I wouldn't advocate for a moment getting rid of bursaries. But I don't think the very high bursaries actually give any added value. There is actually I think DFE holds the evidence that those people in receipt of the very high bursaries of £30,000 of whatever are actually less likely to enter the profession than those with bursaries are set at a lower level than that. So I'd like to see an evening out of bursaries, and make sure that all student teachers in whatever phase or subject that they are wanting to teach in should receive some financial support. If you think of it from the perspective of the applicant, someone that would be willing to enter into initial teacher education for a bursary of £30,000 pounds, but wouldn't be willing to do so for a bursary of £20,000, they are really going in to teaching or into teacher education for the wrong reasons. And you UCET members and others have noticed what we call bursary tourism, where people are only applying for IT because of the money available, which is substantial, when you bear in mind, it's tax free. So I would like to see bursaries evened out and all student teachers received some level of financial support. We'd also like to see the establishment of a hardship Fund, which could be funded using unspent bursary monies because poor levels of recruitment means there is some money available, and that could be allocated to all IT providers, but skits and universities on a on the basis of all your student numbers. And it could be used by the teacher education providers at their discretion to help people remain on course, who might because of cost of living pressures struck otherwise struggle, because it's actually quite expensive to train to be a teacher, not only other 9250 bound fees, which most have to pay, but this costs of travel to placements, which because of the reduction in the number of providers and schools withdrawing from placements, people having to travel further, there might be accommodation costs involved as well. So even out bursaries, introduced a hardship fund. As far as the student loan forgiveness is concerned, I would say yes, do look at that. It won't actually cost that much. The way the accountancy accounting rules on the side of the government work mean that all the money owed by students in respect of student loans is counted on the credit side. Whereas in practice, a lot of students and student teachers never come to pay that money off. But the fact that they owe it is still a huge psychological barrier. If a new teacher knows that a big chunk of their loan is going to be paid off. I think that would help to keep them in the profession. So I would strongly advocate that as well.
Sam Powell: Thanks, James. We're going to take a brief moment now to talk about some of the proposed solutions to these retention and recruitment woes, and then we'll be right back to you for more analysis.
Alex Wallace: Earlier this month, Labour announced their education plan outlining their proposed changes to help stop the bleeding and get the education sector back on track.
Sam Powell: Included in the plan were a series of policies aimed at boosting recruitment including a £2400 retention payment for teachers who complete the two year early career framework and reintroduction of the requirement for all teachers to have or be working towards qualified status. As well as a pledge to simplify teacher retention payments into one payment scale incorporating different factors such as subject and geography.
Alex Wallace: The party have also pledged to revise the delivery of the Early Career Framework, ensuring that it remains grounded in evidence to ensure that it delivers the highest standards of professional development for new teachers, and to work with schools to deliver a teacher training entitlement, including backfilling roles. So teachers at every stage of their career can be released for training, and ensuring guidance is available on evidence based, high quality professional development.
Sam Powell: The hope is that through these policies, and others, not only can we stop the bleeding of teachers from the profession, but that we can enable teachers to develop their skills so they're confident expert practitioners, that are able to support children with special educational needs and disabilities, develop pupils spoken language skills, or to respond to new technologies in the classroom.
Alex Wallace: These policies come as part of a wider pledge to break down barriers to opportunity at every stage of education, and improve school to employment pathways. There's a lot more on there than just recruitment and retention, though, which we won't be covering today. So if you're curious to read it yourself, we'll leave a link to the document in the description of the podcast.
Sam Powell: Right. So James, let's come back to you now to dig into this a bit deeper. Now, Labour have recently announced a £2400 retention payment for teachers who complete the two year early career framework. How do you see these potential offerings differing from the government's current policy around recruitment and retention of teachers?
James Noble Rogers: Well, I'm sympathetic to the £2400 retention payment for teachers, it might help a bit. And it is better than apply to, as I understand it, to teachers in whatever subject and whichever phase so that's to be welcomed. I do wonder, however, if it's enough to make any practical difference, if taxes to be paid on it, and I'm not sure whether it will or not, it won't be that much, at best still probably mean people's just staying a couple of extra months to get the money and then leave. I think you might get more buy in and more impact, more bang for buck if you like if you invested the money in the forms of CPD that we've suggested and professional development. I'm in favour in principle of shifting money away from incentivising recruitment to ITE programs in towards retention. I'm not sure that the 2400 is enough to make any substantial difference, or I think their heart is in the right place. And the intention is right.
Sam Powell: Okay, sticking with the effectiveness of these plans. In Labour's recent report, they argued that more than 1 in 10 maths lessons in the last year was taught by a non expert teacher, and that 45% of schools last year reported that at least some maths lessons being taught by non specialist maths teachers. What specific measures or strategies do you think can be implemented to address this issue and ensure that a higher proportion of lessons are being taught by qualified and specialised teachers in UK schools? And on top of that, do you believe that Labour's proposed plans to introduce a requirement for all new teachers coming into schools to hold or be working towards qualified teacher status are sufficient to guarantee that every child will be taught by a qualified professional.
James Noble Rogers: On the second of those I strongly agree with Labour's proposal, we objected to Michael Gove’s decision to remove the QTs requirement for teachers and academies and free schools when it was announced in 2010, or 2011. Teaching, as I said, is a profession, what other profession, would there not be some kind of formal professional status you have to secure in order to be part of that profession? It was a big mistake. It's also inconsistent with the government's broader approach. On the one hand, the government’s saying teacher education or teacher training or so you call it is so important, we have to impose these rather rigid rules about how it's structured and what the content should be, in order to get the best teachers. I don't think they've got it entirely right obviously. On the other hand, they said, it doesn't actually for most schools, it doesn't matter if you've undertaken that training at all. They seem to be trying to ride both horses at once. So I would support Labour's proposal that all teachers should have, or be working towards full qualified teacher status. I'm instinctively uncomfortable with mass deregulation, we saw it partly on the school side, it's a mixed approach by governments sometimes an inconsistent approach. And on the on the side of FE teacher training where we had new total deregulation. I think that undermines the status of teaching as a profession. I think we need to move back to some form of regulation. Ideally, I'd like to see the profession regulate itself. There might be a role for the Chartered College of Teaching here. We could introduce things as well as the requirement for everyone to have will be working towards qualified teacher status. Both an entitlement and an expectation that teachers undertake CPD through relevant CPD throughout their careers and have to remain in good standing. I think we really need to start moving back towards that. There was probably over regular regulation in some cases prior to 2010. But I'd like to see a proper, an appropriate level of regulation in line with what happens in other professions, and it should be led by the profession, rather than civil servants in Whitehall.
Sam Powell: Thanks for that. James. It's interesting you mentioned the chartered College of Teaching as that actually brings us nicely on to our next question, which is that Labour's recent plan focuses on the recruitment and training of new teachers quite heavily. However, the Chartered College of teaching has called for plans to retain teachers at other stages of their careers. How well does the Labour Party's teacher training framework prepare new teachers and how could it be developed to better retain teachers at other stages of their careers, do you think?
James Noble Rogers: I mean, broadly, I'm not that close to the detail on it. But ongoing professional development opportunities for serving teachers. Firstly, the good CPD does infuse people. It does help keep them in profession. It also makes them better teachers. Subject knowledge changes, school curriculum changes, research, new research comes along. If teachers are kept up to speed with all of that, it will make them better teachers, it will re-infuse them. I know from personal experience, the value of particularly masters level programs can reinvigorate you so it makes a better effective, more effective, professional, even more effective professional, and it will definitely help with retention, and that's where the focus should be. Absolutely. It would have to be properly resourced, though, of course, it can't just be imposed on teachers saying you've got to do this, that and the other. It has to be properly resourced. As Labour's mentioned things like backfilling of staff. That's absolutely right. But as long as it's properly resourced, and it's designed properly, and the programs are genuinely professional and relevant programs, I would support it.
Sam Powell: You mentioned the backfilling of roles there. Which brings us nicely to our final question on this topic, which is that the Labour Party's teacher training entitlement, we'll see it backfill roles, so that in their words, teachers at every stage of their career can be released for training. With this in mind, what potential impact do you foresee this having on teacher development and overall education quality in the long term?
James Noble Rogers: It'll give teachers space away from the classroom to reflect, to share experiences with other serving teachers to learn from each other. So absolutely, I would support it. There will be challenges about finding the staff to provide the backfilling roles and making sure that they are properly supported as well. You can't just bring anyone into to backfill a member of staff they have to be properly trained and properly developed and feel part of this school community as well. One thing I apologize I did miss your question about subject specialist teachers, I think there are a number of things there that could be done. Firstly, in some key priority areas we used in the past to have something called two year conversion PGCE programs, where someone with a degree for example, in a subject which had a reasonable maths content, but wasn't a maths degree, could undertake a two year ITE program to build up their maths knowledge and make them able to be an effective math specialist teacher. We can perhaps read or could look at reintroducing those. Subject knowledge enhancement courses are also very effective and continue to be effective. There may be a case for having a pilot where people can undertake a subject knowledge enhancement program before they apply for ITE. That could give them the confidence they need to think yes, I can apply for ITE rather than at the moment, they're not allowed to apply for subject knowledge enhancement course until they've been offered a place on an ITE program. There might also be a case for reintroducing short booster subject knowledge enhancement courses of the kind we have in the past. So there are a number of ways that could be looked at to address that issue.
Sam Powell: The recruitment and retention crisis is seen by many as one of the biggest issues currently plaguing education. So it's no surprise to see it represented in manifestos. But it's an issue which is just too big to wait for an election that could be as late as December 2024.
Alex Wallace: Which is why the education Select Committee met on the 11th of July with Russell Hobby, Dr. Annabel Watson, Richard Gill, Melanie Renowden and Dr. Jasper Green, to discuss the effectiveness of the 2019 teacher recruitment and retention strategy, including the early career framework and their own experiences of recruiting students into initial teacher training courses and challenges they may have faced with recruitment for particular subjects.
Sam Powell: Russell Hobby is the Chief Executive of Teach First, which recorded its lowest number of trainees in four years in 2022. And he said that while he's optimistic their trainee numbers will increase this year, he didn't think they were going to meet their targets in 2023. Conversely, Melanie Renowden, the Chief Executive of the National Institute of Teaching outlined that she was confident they'd hit their first intake target, but that it was a hard fought battle, stating that the attractiveness of teaching was a big barrier to recruitment.
Alex Wallace: With this in mind, it's no surprise that trainee teacher recruitment is predicted to worsen this year. However, there are solutions being investigated with financial incentives currently leading the way. Teach First found when they gave trainees a one off £2000 grant to help with relocation applications rose 40%.
Sam Powell: Dr. Jasper Green, Head of Initial Teacher Education at the IOE, urged travel cost of placements to be taken into consideration as it was often a significant cost and barrier to entry that often isn't appropriately covered. However, Hobby seemed reluctant to implement blanket solutions, remarking that when cash is tight, and as we all know, cash is tight, they need to ensure it's going where it's needed most.
Alex Wallace: Melanie Renowden commented on how bursaries are effective for recruitment, but lack effectiveness when it comes to retention, leading committee chair Robin Walker to move the conversation around whether adopting the “golden handcuffs approach” which the government is taking for dentists would help in schools and subjects most affected by the shortage. Under this system, staff are only allowed to access the money from the bursaries once they've been imposed for a number of years.
Sam Powell: Hobby said “I would explore it”, adding “if you could target some of this spending to stay in 3,5,7 years for example, and link it to regional local hotspots and schools serving low income communities.”
Alex Wallace: While it's widely understood that more teachers need to be coming into school, the committee agree that training providers do still need to be selective on their intake. And in the words of Dr. Jasper Green, need to focus on quality, not quantity. Even though back in June, Schools Week revealed that the DfE had told training providers to stop projecting so many applicants.
Sam Powell: Green followed up by outlining how students who are what he called ‘inappropriately admitted’ will ultimately cause issues to be stored up for later and ultimately lead to larger workload issues and withdrawal rates. He stressed how while it was important to keep in check numbers high that the gates to the profession must be maintained.
Alex Wallace: These were just some of the key takeaways from the meeting. And there's many many more, so we'll be sure to link the transcript from the meeting in the description. But for now, I think it's time to throw it back to James for some more insight.
Sam Powell: So James, last couple of questions for the day. Now let's start with the golden thread reforms for teacher training from the Department of Education. Now these have further reinforced its focus on the professional development of teachers. This includes the recommitment to deliver 500,000 teacher training opportunities during this parliament with fully funded scholarships available for participants in eligible schools. Now, this the two parts of this question, how do you see these reforms embedding as a core component of teaching a focus on professional development and continuously developing your skills? We've talked often today about the effectiveness of CPD for keeping those within the profession. And also what are the main concerns raised regarding the balance between consistency of provision and flexibility of provision within these reforms?
James Noble Rogers: Well I think you hit the nail on the head with the second part of your question. UCET and myself for donkey's years, have been arguing that new teachers and teachers throughout their career should have an entitlement to structured and fully funded professional development that builds on and complements their initial teacher education, which is why in principle, we supported the introduction of the early career framework when it was first announced in I think it's a 2019 teacher recruitment and retention strategy. In some ways it is a step forward, but it is too inflexible. Firstly, I don't think the way the contracting model that was used to identify ECF providers was particularly fit for purpose. I don't think contracting models are always the best way to fund this kind of program. A lot of feedback and the DfE know this and to an extent of acknowledge the ECF the Early Career Framework in particular, is too inflexible. It doesn't take account of the starting points of all new teachers. There's a lot of repetition, for some of them with what they've already covered on their ITE programs. There's not sufficient scope to tailor the programs to what that particular new teacher needs or to tailor it to the context within which they're working. There are also some notable gaps for example, in respect probably qualities issues, subject knowledge, SEND, which need to be addressed, possibly by just broadening the range of research, which is referenced in the early career framework documentation. I think and I said so in the media at the time that a better way to introduce the ECF was to give it to accredited ITE providers to deliver. The advantages that would have been, firstly, in most cases, they would have had an understanding of where each newly qualified teacher was coming from, they would know what their strengths and weaknesses were, and they would know which schools they are working in. And what were the professional development artists for that individual student teacher.
Sam Powell: Okay and final question for today. The written evidence supplied to the recent education select committee meeting tells us that ethnic and minority teachers in England have been underrepresented in comparison with the ethnic makeup of students in schools. Today, 60% of state funded schools, both primary and secondary, do not have an ethnic minority classroom teacher, and almost 90% do not have an ethnic minority teacher in the senior leadership team. What challenges exist in teacher recruitment, training and retention for teachers from different demographic backgrounds, do you think?
James Noble Rogers: I think this is a huge issue, and it needs to be addressed as a matter of priority. There's something that government could do on marketing teaching as a career. To some extent, it's not an issue about numbers applying for ITE programs, it's about the conversion of those applications into actual ITE recruits. And that's something that providers need to look carefully and long and hard at. But there's also progression throughout their careers. The problem comes even more acute in leadership positions in schools. So we need and the government needs to collect much more robust data on this, look at the content of ITE programs, to make sure they're attractive to people from a diverse range of backgrounds, look at management structures in schools to make sure there is no inverted discrimination against people. And it's absolutely essential that the teaching profession reflects the breakdown of the communities within which they're working, that goes not just for black and global or majority teachers, but teachers, in terms of there's an underrepresented share of male teachers, particularly in primary schools, the whole gamut. We do need to take it seriously. We need to collect better data and come up with a coherent strategy to address it.
Sam Powell: Well I’m afraid that's all the time we've got with James for today. James, thank you so much for your time and your insights today. It's been a pleasure to chat to you. Do you have anything you'd like to say to the audience before you have to go?
James Noble Rogers: Yes, I mean, clearly, teacher education and recruitment to teacher education programs and professional development have to be central parts of a recruitment and retention strategy. The key feature perhaps the main one is, of course, mustn't lose sight of pay and workload and conditions of working conditions. They are major drivers behind the recruitment and retention crisis. I am worried, to an extent, there's been hints that government rather than taking responsibility themselves, are trying to pin the blame on ITE providers for failing to recruit enough student teachers, or putting on the pressure on them to recruit people who in their professional judgment, the IT providers think may not make people who might not be best suited to the profession of teaching is an extremely important job. It's one of the most important professions there is, it's the profession on which all other professionals depend. We can't get to a stage where providers are expected to recruit anyone who's got the basic entry requirements and of course, is expected on to a program and government must be very wary, should they imply that it's teacher education providers who are responsible for the recruitment price crisis, when clearly responsibility lies much closer to home?
Alex Wallace: Well, before we go, we still have just a couple of other quick news bits to blast through. And these are certainly stories you'll want to keep your eyes on in the future.
Sam Powell: First up sticking with the school workforce theme, we’re gonna look at a recent report commissioned by the DfE and released by Cooper Gibson research based around teacher workload as a result of admin tasks.
Alex Wallace: One of the largest takeaways from the report, was the value that hiring support staff could have in reducing teacher workload, which as we all know, is one of the key reasons so many leaving the profession.
Sam Powell: The study found that teachers spend about 380 hours a year on admin outside of class and recommended that hiring a curriculum support officer could help teacher your workload by taking on tasks like photocopying, printing and organising trips. Similarly, the staff could support senior leaders who often have to spend hours going through their inbox, especially as many schools surveyed in the research have seen an increase in emails from parents and carers ever since the pandemic.
Alex Wallace: Many of these roles such as curriculum support of reprographics have not been immune to the recruitment and retention crisis currently taking place in education. And the report noted that in order to help recruit for these roles, a similar approach should be taken to that of higher education, where in order to make the roles attractive, they must have a clear career structure and progression pathways to senior roles.
Sam Powell: And finally, one of the biggest stories keep your eye on in the future from this month is the selection of Sir Martin Oliver as the next Ofsted Chief Inspector to take the reins from Amanda Spielman.
Alex Wallace: Gillian Keegan confirmed the selection of the Chief Executive of the Outward Grange Academy Trust on the 20th July. He will now appear before the education committee in September, and, if approved, will begin his initial five year term on the 1st January 2024.
Sam Powell: In a statement on being selected, Oliver said, and this is a quote, “subject to the pre- appointment hearing, I can promise that I will work extremely hard and very closely with the whole sector, so that we can together build on what has been done to date to create the best system in all areas of education, Children's Services, and skills for the benefit of children and young people.”
Alex Wallace: Schools Week reported that Keegan said that Oliver had demonstrated exemplary leadership and an unwavering commitment to driving up standards in areas of disadvantage in his time as a school and trust leader, and there is evidence to back this up, with 35 schools inspected in the Outwood Grange Academy Trust 28 have improved their Ofsted rating, with 10 outstanding schools in their ranks. It was also among the four trusts that founded the National Institute for Teaching.
Sam Powell: Martin's appointment isn't likely to be free from controversy however, as his trust zero tolerance approach to education has been criticized in the past, with the trust showing high exclusion rates, and they are currently facing legal challenges over the use of isolation booths, with one people claiming they spent almost a third of their time at school in isolation.
Alex Wallace: Because of this, many are concerned about what changes to Ofsted may look like under his leadership, especially because, as said by Paul Whiteman, the General Secretary of the NAHT, “this appointment comes at a critical moment in Ofsted history, with their now being widespread acceptance, that significant reform to school inspection in England is urgently required.”
Sam Powell: Regardless of what the future holds, though, you can rest assured that we'll be here to cover it with you.But for now, that's all the time we have for today.
Alex Wallace: Hopefully you've enjoyed today's show and found it as informative as we did, and we hope to see you again next month. In the meantime though, make sure you head over to the Schools and Academies Show website and register your interest for SAAS Birmingham set to take place on November 22. At the Birmingham NEC.
Sam Powell: We've got some fantastic names lined up for the show who we'll be revealing very soon. If you want to keep up to date with all of them, make sure to follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter at SAA_Show. If you want to see the highlights from the London show, make sure you look under the hashtag #SAASHOW. Until next month though, that's goodbye for me.
Alex Wallace: And that's goodbye from me.