Schools

MPs launch teacher recruitment and retention inquiry

The Education Committee is set to investigate the driving factors behind chronic teacher shortages as part of a new inquiry launched today

The Education Committee is set to investigate the driving factors behind chronic teacher shortages as part of a new inquiry launched today

20 Mar 2023, 9:53

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MPs are set to investigate teacher recruitment, training and retention issues in a new inquiry

A new inquiry into teacher recruitment, training and retention in English state schools has been launched by the education committee.

It comes as schools continue to face huge teacher shortages, with the highest number of vacancies in 11 years being recorded in 2021.

The government has failed to keep up with its own targets for recruiting trainee secondary teachers, missing the mark by 41 per cent last year.

Subjects such as physics, design & technology and modern foreign languages have taken the biggest hit.

MPs are now set to investigate the driving factors behind recruitment and retention issues, as well as the impact it has on pupils.

This will include assessing how well the current teacher training framework “prepares” new teachers, and how the English system compares nationally, the committee said.

Its chair Robin Walker said: “It is imperative that we take a comprehensive and nuanced look at the difficulties in recruiting and retaining qualified teachers.

“We must urgently identify solutions to ensure pupils receive consistent and quality teaching, and that teachers feel supported in their roles.”

Recruitment not showing signs of improvement

In an effort to tackle undersupply, the Department for Education (DfE) last year hiked bursaries and scholarships for those training in worse-hit subjects.

But current recruitment figures for the 2023-24 cohort of trainee teachers show little signs of improvement.

A report from the National Foundation for Educational Research later this week is set to underline the scale of ongoing challenges.

The committee will scrutinise the steps the DfE has taken to address the issue, which also include the Early Career Framework and provisions to support teacher’s mental health.

But in its announcement, the committee said there was concern “these policies have yet to make a significant difference to retention”.

A call for written evidence on teacher recruitment, training and retention is now live.

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4 Comments

  1. J Green

    Funny isn’t it that the government can swiftly organise a review into teacher retention and recruitment when the reason for missing targets is glaring bloody obvious but can’t investigate OFSTED for contributing to the death of a headteacher!

  2. Mr Kevin P Haines

    Why is there such a lack of joined up thinking here . . .
    Its very obvious why people aren’t training to be teachers . . . .
    For the same reasons why teachers are striking . . .
    Doesn’t need an inquiry, it needs money.

  3. John Davies

    I was a teacher for over 30 years and every time we had talks about teachers’ pay the old argument always surfaced viz;.If we meet the teachers’ demands it will mean less money for the pupils!
    The solution is quite simple really i.e . have one monetary resource for pull/student spending and an entirely different resource for teachers’ pay.
    it is sad to see that fewer people are choosing to go in to teaching: no wonder, all the experts got out of the classroom situation at the earliest opportunity and have NO INTENTION OF RETURNING.