Byline: JENNY REES
THE extent of the problems facing teachers in Wales is due to be uncovered with the launch of a new survey next week.
A major all-Wales exercise will investigate how big a problem teacher retention is, amid reports that teachers in England stay in the profession for only a few years.
This will be the first full survey of all schools in Wales on teacher recruitment and retention and builds on a partial survey last year which revealed shortages of applicants for posts in key subject areas.
The survey is aimed at helping all agencies involved in education to get to grips with the issue of supply and demand for teachers throughout the primary and secondary school system.
The far-reaching initiative, led by the General Teaching Council for Wales, will start with a comprehensive survey among the heads of all maintained primary and secondary schools, to discover whether enough teachers are available in the subjects and in the areas that need them.
It will investigate trends in the numbers leaving the profession in Wales, while in England it is known that many leave teaching only a few years after qualifying.
The questionnaire will land on head teachers' desks in the next few days and marks the first step in a drive to tackle the issue of teacher supply and demand.
It will be backed by parallel research from Cardiff University academics and will lead to a major conference in December, at which all the main agencies and organisations involved in education in Wales will discuss the implications of the results.
GTCW intends that this conference should lay the ground for an all-agency Action Plan early next year, designed to put in place ongoing strategies to attract high quality people to and retain them in the profession.
Among those involved in organising the landmark event are …