ASCL comment on Labour’s pledge to recruit more teachers

Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders,responds to analysis from Labour identifying major gaps in expert teaching in schools.
“These findings chime with what we are regularly hearing from schools. Staff shortages are a growing problem, extend widely across many different subject areas and are impacting education on a daily basis. The expectation to have a specialist teacher at the front of every classroom is not an unreasonable one, but is not the reality for many pupils. Schools are increasingly being forced to turn to supply staff to cover for vacancies. While these staff are professional and work hard, it is not comparable to having the continuity of a permanent teacher that is an expert in their subject. As well as being disruptive for pupils, there are significant costs involved for schools that need to use recruitment agencies and hire supply staff.
“The situation simply cannot continue as it is and Labour’s pledge to recruit more teachers is a good start. We look forward to hearing more about their plans to address pay erosion, funding challenges and unmanageable workloads in order to make the profession more attractive to graduates and ensure their pledge can be fulfilled.