Teachers: Recruitment

Department for Education written question – answered at on 23 May 2022.

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Photo of Stuart Anderson Stuart Anderson Conservative, Wolverhampton South West

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps are being taken to support the (a) recruitment and (b) retention of teachers in (i) early years and (ii) primary education.

Photo of Robin Walker Robin Walker The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Scotland, Minister of State (Education)

The department recognises the huge contribution the early years and teaching workforces make to giving every child the best start in life, especially during this period of education recovery.

The department continues to work with the early years sector to build our understanding of our workforce needs, including any issues related to recruitment and retention. The government is committed to ensuring there are routes to graduate level qualifications, alongside wider professional development activity for the workforce.

As part of our work to support recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the department announced up to £153 million in programmes to support workforce development. This includes increasing the number of places available for early years initial teacher training (EYITT). We are also developing new early years training routes.

The department recognises more needs to be done to ensure that primary teaching remains an attractive, high-status profession. At the heart of the Schools White Paper’s vision to boost literacy and numeracy outcomes is the need for an excellent teacher for every child. We aim to continue attracting and retaining the highly skilled teachers that every child needs. The Schools White Paper can be accessed here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/opportunity-for-all-strong-schools-with-great-teachers-for-your-child.

To do this, the department is taking action to improve teacher recruitment and retention by transforming the training and support we provide, not only to attract more people into teaching, but to encourage them to stay and thrive in the profession. Every teacher now has access to a golden thread of high-quality, evidence-based training and professional development at every stage of their career.

The department is creating an entitlement to at least three years of structured training, support, and professional development for all new teachers, bringing teaching into line with other prestigious professions such as law, accountancy, and medicine. Underpinning this is the new Initial Teacher Training (ITT) Core Content Framework and the Early Career Framework (ECF). Together, these ensure that new teachers will benefit from at least three years of evidence-based training, across ITT and into their induction. We also remain committed to increasing teacher starting salaries to £30,000 to make teaching an attractive graduate option.

Beyond the first few years of teaching, our priority is to help all teachers and school leaders to continuously develop their expertise throughout their careers so every child in every classroom in every school gets the best start in life. Teachers can now benefit from an updated suite of National Professional Qualifications (NPQs). Aimed at those who want to develop expertise in high-quality teaching practice, to those leading multiple schools across trusts, these professional development programmes are now free to access for those eligible to apply.

Teacher retention is key to ensuring effective teacher supply and quality, and we are taking action to support teachers to stay in the profession and thrive. The department has published a range of resources to help address teacher workload and wellbeing and support schools to introduce flexible working practices.

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