Today, the pilot areas for the government’s Early Careers Framework have been announced, with education authorities in the North East and Greater Manchester, Bradford and Doncaster chosen to trial the scheme aimed at supporting new teachers.
From September next year, new teachers in the pilot areas will receive a two-year programme of support, training, mentoring and reduced timetables.
Paul Whiteman, general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT, welcomed the announcement, saying: “Teaching is a hugely rewarding career, but the first few years can often be challenging. So long as it is well delivered, the DfE’s recruitment and retention strategy and the Early Careers Framework (ECF) could help new teachers to build their confidence and hone their skills, providing the foundations for a successful career in teaching.
“A lot depends on this strategy, however. The Leaky Pipeline of recruitment and retention needs to be fixed. As our research has shown, too few people are choosing teaching as a career and too many teachers are leaving prematurely.”
This week’s government figures show that only two thirds of the teachers who qualified in 2013 are still working in school five years later. More and more teachers are reducing their working hours or leaving as unsustainable workloads take their toll.
Mr Whiteman continued: “There are blunt warnings everywhere for the government. Particularly worryingly, the number of secondary school teachers has decreased again this year whilst secondary school pupil numbers continue to rise. This has already resulted in larger secondary school class sizes, and unless the government acts, the situation can only get worse.
“Teachers are graduates who have many career choices open to them. If we expect graduates to choose a career in teaching and remain in the profession for more than five years, we must pay them properly and treat them well. There’s nothing complicated about that.”
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