Around 25 percent of teaching posts in the East have been left unfilled, according to a survey by a teachers union, which is the second worst rate of teacher recruitment in the UK

For the third year running, school leaders report that there is a problem with teacher recruitment across all teaching roles, from teachers to senior leaders. Overall a very high proportion (79 percent) of posts were difficult to recruit for; 62% recruited were filled with some difficulty; and respondents were completely unable to recruit for an average of 23% of posts in the Eastern region of England.

Izzy Mair, Deputy Principal at Attleborough Academy in Norfolk commented:

“If we talk about the core subjects there’s just not enough teachers with the skillset readily available in the market. I sometimes think that there are choices of people with that skillset. They might not necessarily see teaching as a career path because maybe the package and conditions aren’t the same as you can get in industry for example.”

School leaders are reporting that their struggle with teacher recruitment is caused by the number of teachers leaving the profession. The Norfolk Teacher Training Centre was set up 4 years ago to deal with a shortage in new recruits in the region. Commenting on the trend, the Director of the Centre, Paul McCann said:

“One of the things we’ve tried to do is make sure everyone has a really realistic understanding of what it means to be a teacher. That’s the main thing we need to do. We can incentivise people with a generous bursary for some subjects. But by and large we want people who want to be teachers and work with children and young people”

The National Association of Head Teachers is calling on central government to improve teachers’ pay and workload.

Grant Martin, Maths teacher at Attleborough Academy in Norfolk said that for him, teaching was a very rewarding career, despite negativity surrounding the profession:

“It is a lot of hard work, and I think that’s the big issue with recruitment at the minute, there’s all this negative press about how hard teaching is and how it’s a lot of work and everyone’s leaving because of stress. I mean it is a really difficult job, but I definitely think the rewards outweigh the amount of work you have to do. It’s a very rewarding job, as well as being a tough job.”