Teaching is a wonderful career

The DfE has today announced the 2022 summer programme for interns in certain subjects that want to consider teaching as a possible career. It is interesting that to the obvious STEM subjects has been added Modern Languages. However, other subjects with significant shortages such as design and technology and business studies still don’t feature in the list. The bias towards an academic curriculum still seems firmly planted in the minds of Ministers. However, at least IT is included, so there is a nod to the future.

In reality not all STEM subjects are included. As the DfE notice makes clear, the aim of the internship programme is to enable undergraduates studying for a degree in STEM-related subjects the opportunity to experience teaching maths, physics, computing or modern foreign languages before they commit to it as a career.

The programme is school-led. Only school-led partnerships can apply for funding. School partnerships can choose to collaborate with an accredited Initial Teacher Training (ITT) provider to develop and deliver their programme.

The partnership lead should submit the application as they will have overall responsibility for the budget. However, they should work in collaboration with partners to develop the proposal.

DfE welcome applications from school-led partnerships across England, however especially welcomes applications from schools in geographic areas where there have previously been gaps in provision, including:

  • Bristol
  • Cornwall
  • Cumbria and north Lancashire
  • Devon
  • East Anglia
  • London
  • Merseyside
  • Oxfordshire

Applications must be for a minimum of 5 participants. Teaching internship programme: summer 2022 – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

The DfE has also announced that the ITT Census of current trainees will be published on the 2nd December. This will allow schools to understand what the supply of new entrants into the labour market for next September will look like in each subject.

Interestingly, the number of vacancies being advertised by secondary schools this November is much higher than in recent years, with more than 700 new vacancies listed last week alone. Early data from today suggests there is no let up in the trend to advertise vacancies in what is normally a relatively quiet month. Normally, the most distinguishing factor about vacancies in November is the high number of those that result from a teacher taking maternity leave.

Maybe we are seeing the early signs of the increase in departures of school leaders that have borne the brunt of the handling of the pandemic in schools over the past 18 months. TeachVac will track that trend and report in its annual round up of trends in leadership vacancies.

The DfE is now handing applications for the 2022 entry into teacher preparation courses and the first data from that source that has replaced the monthly UCAS data of past years will provide an interesting insight on how teaching is viewed as a career at this stage of the pandemic.

At the same time rumours abound that the DfE is reviewing how it will handle the vacancy web site it created a couple of years ago and also that the tes is once again might possibly be seeking another new owner.

Regular readers of this blog will know that I wonder why schools continue to pay millions of pounds to a private American owned company instead of investing a few thousand in creating a low-cost site that is jointly owned by the profession and the government.

But then the talk of scare resources is often an easier approach than the actions necessary to overcome the conviction that the status quo must always be funded.

With 7 million hits this year and 50,000+ vacancies at no cost to either the public purse of teachers, TeachVac has shown what can be achieved.

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