ASCL responds to EPI report on teacher shortages

02/03/2020
Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders comments on the Education Policy Institute report ‘Teacher shortages in England’.
 
Commenting on the Education Policy Institute report ‘Teacher shortages in England’, Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said:

Teacher salaries need to be significantly improved across the board to boost recruitment and retention after years of damaging real-terms pay cuts. Targeting extra salary incentives at early careers teachers, and in shortage subjects and disadvantaged areas may help, but simply isn’t enough to address a system-wide crisis

And pay is not the only reason why it is hard to recruit teachers and leaders in disadvantaged areas. Their schools are treated harshly in performance tables and Ofsted inspections which fail to sufficiently take into account the challenges they face, and this is extremely demoralising

It is incredibly difficult to recruit or retain staff in schools which have been branded ‘inadequate’, ‘underperforming’ or ‘below average’ in the brutal nomenclature of our accountability system. We need a more supportive and less punitive approach if we are ever going to escape the vicious circle in which we are currently stuck.”