Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Teaching Timebomb in Our Classrooms Teaching Timebomb in Our Classrooms Teaching Timebomb in Our Classrooms Teaching Timebomb in Our Classrooms

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Teaching Timebomb in Our Classrooms Teaching Timebomb in Our Classrooms Teaching Timebomb in Our Classrooms Teaching Timebomb in Our Classrooms

Article excerpt

Byline: Mike Kelly Reporter mike.kelly@ncjmedia.co.uk

TEACHER recruitment is in tatters on Tyneside threatening the future education of our young a devastating new report warns.

Despite a PS700m investment by Government, the report reveals how: | experienced staff are leaving the profession in their droves | many choose to quit before their retirement age, and | those replacing them are often not full qualified for the subjects they teach.

The hardest hit are schools in poorer areas like in the North East and the findings have led to the Government being described as in "arrogant denial about the crisis it has created" by the main teachers union. The report by the National Audit Office revealed the Government had missed its teacher recruitment target for the last four years.

Between 2011 and 2014 the number of teachers leaving the profession rose by 11% while the proportion of those who chose to leave the profession ahead of retirement increased from 64% to 75%.

According to the NAO, in secondary schools, more classes are being taught by teachers without a relevant post-A level qualification in their subject.

The proportion of Physics classes, for example, being taught by a teacher without such a qualification rose from 21% to 28% between 2010 and 2014.

The NAO found 53% of the 44,900 (full time equivalent) teachers entering the profession in 2014 were newly-quali-fied, with the remainder either returning to teaching after a break or moving into the statefunded sector from elsewhere. The reliance on new teachers entering the profession also raised concerns.

The NAO report said the Government needed to do more to demonstrate its new arrangements are improving the quality of teaching.

Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, said: "This report vindicates the findings of the extensive research carried out by the NASUWT.

"Even when it is spending PS700m annually on recruiting and training new teachers, the Government cannot meet its recruitment targets.

"Not even that level of expenditure can compensate for Government policies which have made the profession so uncompetitive and unattractive that they have generated a teacher supply crisis.

"With deep cuts to teachers' pay year-on-year since 2011, increased pension contributions and excessive workload blighting the working lives, health and well-being of teachers, is it any wonder that applications to join the profession are down and resignations are up.

"It is not only teachers who are suffering as a result of these policies, children and young people are being denied their entitlement to qualified teachers.

"Yet the Government remains in arrogant denial about the crisis it has created. Teachers, parents and pupils deserve better. "It's about time ministers faced up to the chaos and crisis they have created, admit they got it wrong and start to value, support and invest in the teaching workforce."

The report comes after we launched a campaign this month in partnership with the charity Teach First called 'Change Career, Change Lives' as part of a teacher recruitment campaign across England and Wales. …

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