More middle aged professionals are being targeted to switch careers and become new teachers to help boost schools in deprived and remote areas, says the new Teach First head.
Russell Hobby told a national newspaper that the country’s biggest graduate recruiter will begin focusing its energies on recruiting older trainees as teachers from 2018 in a bid to improve the quality of teaching in coastal areas and market towns.
He says that successful executives who have enjoyed careers in London will now be encouraged to retrain as a teacher and to move back to their home town.
Mr Hobby said: “Schools servicing a challenging community are suffering most, they are under huge pressure.
“Those switching careers could be an increasing source of new teaching talent.”
Successful middle-aged professionals may be rethinking what to do with their careers
Mr Hobby is the former general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers and says that successful middle-aged professionals may be rethinking what to do with their careers in the New Year.
For those who are looking for a new, interesting challenge then teaching could be a successful chance to enjoy another career, he says.
Of the new Teach First trainees in 2017, 31% were career switchers, a rise from 2011’s figure of 22%.
Also, the age profile of recruits joining Teach First has been increasing slowly and the charity says it is now hoping to tap into the eagerness of disillusioned professionals who are thinking about making a career switch.
Indeed, they say that they’ve just taken on their oldest recruit who is aged 60.
Those that are recruited by Teach First
Of those that are recruited by Teach First, more than half are in their 40s and 50s who then go on to take a teaching post outside London.
Teach First was founded 15 years ago with the aim of attracting ambitious young recruits to work in inner-city schools in places such as Manchester and London.
Three years ago the charity said it would look to expand its work into market towns and seaside resorts as young graduates are reluctant to begin their working life in an inaccessible and rundown area.
Teach First says it is looking to target a younger demographic
To do help do this, Teach First says it is looking to target a younger demographic with recruits aged from their 30s to mid-40s.
The move follows the Government’s announcement that it has missed its teacher training recruitment targets for the past five years.
Mr Hobby says that Teach First is also looking at teaching sabbaticals which would see a potential recruit working as a teaching assistant for six weeks before deciding whether they wanted to switch career and become a teacher.