Teachers in England will receive more early career support, opportunities for flexible and part-time working, and a reduction in their workload – in a new strategy aimed at boosting the number of teachers in the profession and making sure talent stays in schools across the country.
Launching the government’s first-ever integrated strategy to recruit and retain more teachers in schools – developed alongside and welcomed by teachers, education unions and leading professional bodies – Education Secretary Damian Hinds has set out plans to attract and retain the next generation of inspirational teachers.
The strategy will deliver on the Education Secretary’s commitment to champion the profession and will build on the 30,000 classroom teachers the government aims to recruit each year, support the 450,000 teachers already working in schools in England, and boost outcomes for pupils by:
- Providing new teachers with the foundations for a successful career – by creating the Early Career Framework, the biggest teaching reform in a generation, backed by at least £130million a year in extra funding when fully rolled out. New teachers will receive a two-year package of training and support at the start of their career, including a reduced timetable to allow teachers to make the most of their training. Extra investment will also be pledged, through the £42million Teacher Development Premium, to roll-out the Early Career Framework
- Extra financial incentives to encourage talented teachers to stay in the classroom – Bursaries will be reformed to include retention-based payments for those who stay in the profession by staggering additional payments throughout the first years of their career.
- Simplifying the process of applying to become a teacher – introducing a new one-stop application system to make applications easier for would-be teachers and making it easier for more people to experience classroom teaching.
- Helping school leaders to reduce teachers’ workload – helping school leaders strip away unnecessary tasks such as data entry; simplifying the accountability system to clarify when a school may be subject to intervention or offered support; and working with Ofsted to ensure staff workload is considered as part of a school’s inspection judgement.
- Creating a more diverse range of options for career progression – helping schools to introduce flexible working practices through a new match-making service for teachers seeking a job-share and developing specialist qualifications and non-leadership career routes for teachers that want to stay in the classroom, with additional incentives to work in challenging schools.
The Education Secretary is calling on the profession to work with the Department for Education to deliver the plan and help meet the “shared challenge” of recruitment and retention.
The priorities in the strategy have been defined with leading education unions, who have co-signed a commitment to help teachers and school leaders implement the strategy so that it has maximum impact in schools. To deliver on these priorities, and build on the 34,500 trainees that joined the profession in 2018, the strategy also commits to:
- support proposals in Ofsted’s new inspection framework, including to focus on reducing teacher workload;
- introduce a new Ofsted hotline for head teachers to directly report any breaches of its commitments around the information schools do not need to provide to inspectors, including internal assessment data;
- launch a new ‘Discover Teaching’ initiative to give more people an opportunity to discover the joys of teaching;
- Challenge Education Technology (EdTech) providers to see how innovative timetabling solutions can help support part-time and flexible working patterns;
- Call on head teachers and school leaders to embrace flexible working in their schools;
- launch a new, digital ‘match-making’ service for teachers looking for a job-share partner – helping more people join or return to the profession; and
- invest £10 million to create regional centres of excellence to facilitate sharing of best practice on classroom and behaviour management.
The leaders of teaching unions and professional bodies have welcomed the plans.
The announcement follows the Education Secretary’s commitment made last year with the teaching unions and Ofsted to strip away unnecessary workload for teachers – where he made clear that neither the government nor Ofsted require teachers to spend time filling out templates for individual lesson plans, or “triple marking” every piece of work.
It also follows the £508 million teachers’ pay grant , and forms part of a drive led by the Education Secretary to trust the best school leaders to make decisions in their staff and pupils’ best interest.
The Department for Education has also provided more information about the extra £400 million for schools announced in last year’s Budget. On average, primary schools will receive £10,000, while secondary schools will receive £50,000 to invest in improvements to buildings or facilities, including IT equipment.
Alongside this, the allocations that every council will receive for capital projects supporting pupils with special educational needs and disabilities have been published, from a £100 million investment announced in December. Part of the wider investment the government is making to raise education standards, this additional money will pay for more specialist places in mainstream schools, colleges and schools for children with special educational needs, or facilities like sensory rooms or equipment.
In the coming weeks the Department for Education will host a series of regional roadshows across the country to seek more views from teachers and school leaders on the strategy to identify how they can work together to deliver on its aims.