ASCL comment on NFER report that recruitment and retention crisis shows no signs of abating

Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, responds to analysis from the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER), which shows that recruitment and retention issues are persisting in education.
The reality borne out by this bleak report is that, on average, teachers work longer hours for less money than graduates in other jobs. It is very difficult to see how the recruitment and retention crisis can be solved under these circumstances. 
“As this report states, the erosion of external support services is piling more pressure on to teachers and school leaders. This has only worsened since the pandemic with additional challenges around behaviour and attendance and an increasing number of pupils who either have unmet special educational needs or are unable to access mental health support. The workload pressures that this is causing in schools and colleges are not something that can be alleviated by tinkering with the system but require sustained investment in public services. 
“Pay is another hugely influential factor when it comes to recruitment and retention, but NFER’s report states that it is unlikely that last year’s award has significantly improved the competitiveness of pay compared with other professions. It is therefore crucial that this year’s pay award, as well as being fully funded, begins to restore the erosion of pay which has taken place since 2010 and moves teaching towards a more equal footing with other graduate jobs.
“Society cannot function without teachers and we currently have a critical shortage in our schools and colleges. It is high time the government gave this crisis the attention it warrants