Never has there been such a key time as now for the education recruitment industry to meet the challenge of increasing demand of teachers in a competitive climate. For several years, the growing number of school children alongside the increasing number of teachers leaving the profession has created a shortfall in the teaching workforce. This is set to continue according to the Department for Education (2018) who suggest that by 2025 there will be 15% more pupils in secondary schools than there were in 2018. [National pupil projections – future trends in pupil numbers: July 2018].
Teaching is a vocational calling, with those newly qualified being passionate to impart their knowledge and make a difference to children’s lives. However, over 20% of new teachers leave the profession within their first 2 years of teaching, and 33% leave within their first 5 years. [School workforce in England: November 2017]. Expectation and standards have been steadfast whilst the increase in workload, demands of managing pupil behaviour and lack of support to newly qualified teachers have been a recipe for teachers to leave the profession.
Understanding the key reasons why so many teachers leave has been paramount for the Department for Education in order to address retention issues and prevent a bigger shortfall of teachers in the future. According to Damien Hinds, Secretary of State for Education, “People enter teaching motivated by the chance to change lives. I am determined that those who are called to this noble profession stay in it, where they will continue to inspire children for many years to come.”
The Department of Education’s recent “Teacher Recruitment and Retention Strategy 2019” sets out 4 major areas of action to address the issues.
A major part of the strategy is: