An increase in teacher recruitment could vastly improve education standards in the North of England, a new report suggests.
The report, published by Dixons Academies chief executive Sir Nick, explores why there is a particular concentration of educational underperformance in the North, while also making recommendations to raise attainment levels, Teaching Personnel reports.
The report identified that a key factor in pupil performance was teacher effectiveness, emphasising the need for new efforts to bolster the supply of staff in northern England to better take account of local needs.
The report suggested the launch of a “Teach North” scheme to attract and retain newly-qualified teachers in struggling schools across the region, as well as marketing initiatives to help highlight the benefits of doing so.
Other recommendations included speeding up the growth of multi-academy trusts in the North to help raise standards, share good practice models between multiple schools, and drive better recruitment policies.
Additionally, the Department of Education was called upon to conduct further research into the performance deficit in deprived northern areas such as former mining towns, coastal towns or rural areas, while highlighting the work done by the schools that have been most successful in overcoming this challenge.
Specific adjustments to school curriculums may be needed in northern schools in order to help primary-level students who are falling behind to catch up to the expected standard of performance.
Commenting on the recommendations, Sir Nick said:
“As school leaders in the north, we need to do a better job of learning from and replicating success stories locally as well as from elsewhere in the country.”
Recruitment of teachers has been problematic in recent years, with the East of England also reporting slow recruitment, with roles staying open for up to a year. Some schools in that region failed to recruit for posts altogether, despite posts being re-advertised numerous times.
The National College for Teaching and Leadership has also introduced new financial incentives for schools to hire former teachers who have left the profession.