Two in three school leaders say that the crisis in teacher recruitment will deepen over the coming two years, a survey has revealed.
The findings from The Academies Show, a leading education event, found that the biggest challenges that will face the education sector are teacher retention and recruitment which accounted for 70% of those who expressed fears.
The issue was second only to schools funding and was almost twice the proportion that expressed fears over government policy for the sector.
When questioned about their ability for recruiting teachers and whether the issue would improve or decline over the coming two years, 41% of school leaders said the issue would ‘decline a lot’.
Of the respondents, 28% said the problem will ‘decline a little’, while 22% believed the issue would remain the same and 9% said it would improve a lot or a little.
‘School leaders are very concerned over teacher recruitment’
A director of the Academies Show, Lucy McPhail, said: “Our research shows that school leaders are very concerned at the moment over teacher recruitment.”
A spokesman for the Department for Education said: “A record number of teachers are in our schools, around 15,500 more than there were in 2010, and the number of new teachers overall entering classrooms are outnumbering those who leave or retire.
“However, we recognise there are challenges facing schools and we are taking steps in addressing them with £1.3 billion of investment in teacher bursaries up to 2020.”
He added that the Department’s teacher workload action plan will help provide support for tackling excessive workloads in the classroom.
Pilot scheme to reimburse student loan repayments for teachers
The findings come after a pilot scheme was announced by the Department for Education which will cover 25 areas in England to reimburse student loan repayments for science and modern foreign language teachers early in their career.
The government has also unveiled plans for encouraging flexible working patterns in the sector for teachers.
The survey also comes hot on the heels of a demand from headteachers in England for more funding for their schools to help boost resources and help attract teachers.
The lack of money, the headteachers warn, could also see class sizes soaring and many schools are now struggling to provide the basic curriculum activities for their students.
In a letter to the Chancellor Philip Hammond, the headteachers say that further budget cuts could see a drop in teacher numbers as schools struggle to recruit.
Call for better funding for education
Also, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has this week called for better funding for education and said that Brexit could lead to a worsening teacher recruitment crisis if the rights of EU nationals currently living in the UK is not agreed.
Speaking to the Association of Colleges he warned that ‘education is in a perilous state’ with funding being reduced and the curriculum narrowing with courses being cut.
Mr Corbyn points to figures that reveal that there are 4,795 qualified teachers from the European Economic Area who have been given qualified teacher status in the UK and they must be encouraged to stay.
The Academies Show is being held in Birmingham on 22 November.