The Department for Education (DfE) has published its Teacher and Retention Strategy, outlining four key areas for focus.
Those areas are: Creating supportive school cultures (including ‘an active focus on reducing teacher workload’); offering support for early career teachers, such as a ‘funded 2-year support package for all new teachers’; supporting careers that remain attractive to teachers as their lives develop, through a new ‘job-share service’; and making it easier for people to become teachers, by creating a ‘one-stop shop application system.’
Discussing the report, Baljinder Kuller, MD of online supply portal The Supply Register, said: “The staffing shortages within the education sector have been critical for some time, and the fact that the Department for Education has made such a strong attempt to identify the problems causing this is truly commendable.
“The commitment to expanding flexible working and tackling excessive teacher workload is especially impressive, and something we’ve advocated for a long time. However, what the report fails to identify is that effective workforce planning is key to success, and that schools and academies may need support in this area.
‘‘Unless school leaders have the time, resources and expertise to implement the suggested strategies, they won’t be successful. Many schools and academies are trapped in a vicious cycle where understaffing means they do not have the means to enact the DfEs recommendations. However, with a dedicated workforce planning strategy, which deploys existing skills effectively, education leaders can begin boosting retention today, and free up time to focus on long term approaches.’’