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It's shocking, but not surprising that the teacher recruitment crisis continues to grow out of control, NAHT says

Paul Whiteman, general secretary of the school leaders’ union, the NAHT said:

“It is shocking, but not surprising that the retention and recruitment crisis and teacher workload continue to grow out of control. It’s a vicious cycle as schools are trying to recruit and retain enough teachers in the face of shoestring school budgets, a real-terms pay cut of over 20% in ten years, crushing workload and a brutal inspection regime.

“The number of graduates coming forward to teacher training is in freefall, and many recently qualified teachers’ and leaders continue to leave the profession in droves. Few aspire to leadership roles. Our most recent survey of members showed almost two-thirds (61%) of assistant and deputy heads told us that they do not aspire to headship.

“Despite promises to reduce teacher workload, the government’s own data tells a different story. Leaders’ and teachers are regularly working 50-60 hours a week to provide the best education they can for children. In the long term, it's simply not sustainable – and the problem of excessive workload is getting worse, as schools pick up the pieces of underfunded community support services, an increased number of children with SEND and the cost-of-living crisis.

“The workload reduction taskforce must offer concrete solutions, and we support the NFER’s recommendation that it reviews behaviour management and pastoral care. There should be more support from outside agencies to help schools manage the increasing number of SEND, and the

“There must be a shift in attitude towards the profession from government. As a first step, the new recruitment and retention strategy must make teaching an attractive career. We also concerned that issues such as SEND funding, and provision for public services were not addressed in the Budget.


First published 20 March 2024