On the 3rd October I posted a blog about the new bursary rates for 2016 headed ‘Incentives and ageism’. In that post I suggested the DfE would run an advert saying in large letters ‘£30,000 to train as a teacher tax free’. Well today in the Metro newspaper the advert ran with the words ‘Receive up to £30K tax-free to train as a teacher’. Apart from the added, but probably redundant, ‘receive’ I got pretty close with my wording. The DfE advert goes on to say ‘you can earn up to £65K as a great teacher’. The predicted ‘*’ appears at that point in the advert. The asterisk refers readers to the phrase ’conditions apply’ at the foot of the advert. To find out what they are requires a visit to education.gov.uk/teachconditions Presumably, this then tells you that unless you are a Physics graduate with a First Class degree or a PhD, you cannot received the £30K tax free sum.
I saw this advert on my way to speak at a Policy Exchange event on the future of the teaching workforce. Details of the event and a speaker list can be found at http://www.policyexchange.org.uk/modevents/item/the-future-of-the-teaching-workforce and I hope an account will be published in due course. As the TES were present, I assume it will also be reported by them.
It was interesting the number of those present that thought the fees of graduates training to be teachers should be paid by government. Fee abatement for graduates is a campaign this blog started way back in January and I am delighted to see it gaining traction. Some present though that we should once again offer to pay off the undergraduate fee debt for teachers that work in state schools for a number of years; perhaps at 20% per year. I suspect that schools could already do that if they so wished to offer it as an incentive to work in their school.
The House of Commons Education Select Committee are now taking evidence on the state of teacher supply following a letter they have received from the Secretary of State after her latest appearance in front of the Committee. It is interesting to try to define the difference between a ‘challenge’ and a crisis’ in both training and recruitment into the profession. It might be possible to have one without the other.
There was an acknowledgement at the Policy Exchangeevent of the regional nature of the problem of recruiting teachers and that, as this blog has commented on several occasions, the solutions are also likely to be regional or even local. New entrants to the profession don’t often travel far, although according the NCTL Annual Report more than 6,000 have come from overseas: more about this in another post, I suspect, once I have chased up the data.
On the regional note, it looks as if the situation on parts of the East of England is now almost as bad as in London in terms of recruitment. TeachVac now has an average for 2015 of more than seven classroom teacher vacancies per school in both these regions.