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A survey of teacher shortages in secondary schools in one London borough (Croydon) demonstrates that the teacher sh...
A survey of teacher shortages in secondary schools in one London borough (Croydon) demonstrates that the teacher shortage problem has reached epidemic proportions. The attached analysis from Croydon reveals the true nature of the recruitment crisis in the London area, which faces the incoming government on the 7th June. It also reinforces the key issues which have to be addressed as a matter of considerable urgency.
1. Department for education figures show that teacher vacancies in London secondary schools are on the increase. The number of vacancies has now reached 880. Vacancies expressed as a percentage of teachers in post have increased in London from 1% in 1997 to 3.7% in 2001.
2. Posts being advertised for next September are not attracting applicants: they are having to be re-advertised again and again at great financial burden on schools. If schools manage to attract any sort of a field and out of desperation go to interview, they all too frequently do not appoint. This wastes staff time.
3. Particular shortages in mathematics, English, physics and chemistry, foreign languages, design technology, information technology: all areas in which secondary schools have to compete directly with other graduate recruiters.
Vacancies are hidden by:
* Some teachers covering extra classes
* Others teaching subjects in which they are not qualified
* Temporary teachers, often different ones each day
* Temporary teachers from abroad without British qualification
* Appointment of unqualified staff
* Putting children into larger classes
David Hart, general secretary NAHT and John Dunford, general secretary SHA comment as follows:
?The Croydon Survey demonstrates the stark reality of the teacher recruitment problems faced by London secondary schools. Headteachers cannot run their schools properly and raise standards if they are denied the means to recruit teaching staff of the highest quality. Instead of writing begging letters to retired teachers and relaxing the regulations on qualifications for teachers from abroad, the government need to introduce real incentives to attract new teachers: salaries comparable with other graduate recruiters, paying off student loans, improved conditions of service, and a London Area Allowance comparable with the police and financial sector.
16 out of 21 Croydon Secondary Schools returned the questionnaire.
* These 16 secondary schools represent a total teaching force of 769 FTE?s
* Out of this 769:
14Posts are filled by non-specialist staff
37.6Posts are filled by temporary staff
18Posts are filled by general short-term supply
16Posts filled by teacher with a non-British qualification
10Posts filled by trainee teachers on QTS schemes etc.
In other words 12.5% of all posts are not filled satisfactorily.
* As of April these schools were 59 staff short and they projected they would be at least 85 staff short for September. So 11% of all posts could well be vacant atthe beginning of the next academic year.
* The 59 were made up of:
5Religious Education
5 Physical Education
4Modern Foreign Languages
2Business Studies
* Alongside this (as of April) 6 schools stated that they were removing 9 posts off their timetable for September because of lack of qualified staff.
* Number of appointments already made for this September was 48 and out of these 36 were covered by people not totally suitable for the post to which they were appointed, ie. 75% of appointments made for September are not totally suitable but the schools had no option.
* Last year?s total advertising budget was 71.9k. This year?s budget allocations for advertising are105k. (4 schools have already spent 29k in the month of April). In other words the amount spent by schools on advertising could easily increase by a staggering 46% this year.
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