Survey Explores Effects of Teacher Shortage: A recent survey by the Guardian Teacher Network has explored the effects that the severe lack of teachers is having on educational institutions.
The survey of more than 4,000 teachers provided a detailed account of the impact the teacher shortage is having on workloads and staff morale, as well as the effect it’s having in the classroom and pupils’ attainment.
Of the teachers in the survey, approximately 70 per cent said that the teacher shortage was having an effect on pupils, with 18 per cent revealing that in their schools, up to 20 per cent of the teachers were supply.
Of the 544 respondents who had the responsibility of recruiting, around 80 per cent said that they had experienced difficulties with attracting new staff. The teachers attributed the recruitment struggles to a lack of good quality candidates (93 per cent), not being able to attract good candidates (65 per cent) and teachers exiting the sector (43 per cent).
40 per cent of the survey respondents said that they were intending to leave the sector within the next five years; however, 90 per cent said that they may be encouraged to stay if there were improvements in work-life balances. A further 63 per cent said that they would be encouraged to stay is there was less red tape and bureaucracy and 41 per cent said that a salary increase would make it more likely that they stayed. As well as this, 28 per cent said that they would like more time with each pupil.
The market research uncovered that the root of the teacher shortage, even where it was possible to recruit new staff, was that skills could not be developed or built on due to a lack of support from experienced staff members. The potential mentors, or experienced staff, were either too busy with the demands of filling teacher positions, or they had left the sector.
One respondent claimed: “Unqualified staff are unable to deliver the key stage 4 and 5 curriculum”. In turn, this was having an effect on pupils’ results.
Another respondent said: “[Pupils] will not be exposed to specialists and people with a true passion for teaching.”
“Teachers keep coming and going. This means the pupils often have several teacher changes during their GCSEs and A-levels” said another respondent.
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