A headteachers’ union has warned of an “exodus from the profession” as more than 60 per cent of school leaders have said that they are struggling to recruit teachers for high-paying jobs.
A new survey has revealed that across the country there is a growing concern about the ability to recruit teachers for deputy and assistant heads, which sit on the upper pay scale.
Some of the reasons cited in the survey for the crisis in recruitment included shortages of teachers (in 40 per cent of cases) and the quality of applicants (41 per cent). A further 28 per cent also hinted at the quality of applicants may be a problem, saying that there were a large number of applications but not the right calibre.
There has been growing levels of dissatisfaction in teaching, with teachers saying that growing pressures on workload and an emphasis on inspections rather than on pupils’ learning have contributed to the dissatisfaction, as the Association of Teachers and Lecturers showed last month that just six in ten teachers were still in the profession a year after obtaining their Qualified Teacher Status.
The National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) complied the survey, in which it revealed the crisis is such that some leaders were not able to fill posts at all.
14 per cent of school leaders said they had failed to recruit deputy heads and one in five leaders saying that they had not been able to hire assistant head teachers.
Maths and English were the subjects that most schools leaders had problems recruiting for, as well as 39 per cent saying they had troubles hiring staff for special educational needs (SEN) as a subject.
Louis Coiffait of the NAHT said: “It’s time to be frank, we’re facing a recruitment crisis at all stages of the education system.
“Until we address it at each of those stages, there’s no chance that we’ll have the quantity or quality of head teachers we need in the future.”
The survey was released ahead of a conference in which NAHT members will propose a motion to highlight what they describe as an “exodus from the profession” and for more to be done to “retain the most talented of our young teachers”.
They will call also for the need urgently address the “unrealistic expectations” being placed upon them.”
A new section called NAHT Edge to help future teachers overcome challenges in their profession, in order to counter this crisis in recruitment has been set up by the NAHT.
The survey asked 1,100 school heads for their experience on recruitment, with nearly 80 per cent of the replies from primary schools followed by just 4 per cent from secondary schools.
Almost half of the schools surveyed were community schools and 17 per cent were voluntary aided schools.
In 2014, Ofsted, the education watchdog, warned of a future major shortage of teachers as a result of a dip in the number of new graduates, in a previous warning of an exodus of teachers from the profession.