Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, comments on the Chancellor’s Spring Budget 2023 announcement.
“Today we heard the Chancellor announce £11 billion for defence and not a penny to address the teacher recruitment and retention crisis affecting our schools and colleges, or resolve the associated industrial action that is taking place as the Chancellor was speaking. The government appears to be inhabiting a parallel universe in which it seems utterly complacent about the pressure on schools, colleges and many other public services.
“Most schools and colleges are experiencing severe teacher shortages as a result of real-terms pay cuts since 2010 and increasing workload pressures.
“Postgraduate teacher recruitment is a disaster with the Department for Education missing its target for secondary teachers by 41% in 2022/23. The overall target for postgraduate teacher recruitment has been achieved only once since 2015/16 and this was during the abnormal circumstance of the Covid pandemic in 2020/21. Nearly one-third of teachers leave teaching within five years of qualifying and 40% within 10 years.
“Teachers are the lifeblood of the education system. What will it take for the government to take action to improve recruitment and retention?
“We welcome the additional investment in childcare announced in today’s Budget and will now look closely at the detail. We would urge the Department for Education to also look into how it supports high-quality educational provision as part of this commitment as this is key to closing attainment gaps between rich and poor.”