Teacher Recruitment Crisis Recovery?

By Jocelyn Levy | 2nd November 2020 | 8 min read

For quite a few years, it’s been extremely rare to be able to write positive news about teacher recruitment. However, one survey from last month has given a glimpse of hope that maybe the situation is starting to ease.

Small move in the right direction

TES and the Nation Governors Association (NGA) are the source of the survey. They interviewed 5,300 governors across the country about their recruitment efforts. The results of 2017 were generally better compared to 2016, not by much it must be said, but in many aspects, the situation has shown slight signs of improvement.

Governors were asked if they were struggling to find good candidates across school positions. Overall, the percentage fell only 1 per cent, from 35 per cent to 34 per cent. When you break the numbers down a bit, you can see some signs of progress in certain areas though.

The amount of schools struggling to find good applicants for senior positions dropped from 42 per cent to 36 per cent – and for teaching positions, the amount of schools struggling dropped from 50 per cent to 46 per cent.

Maths, science and English were the subjects in which finding teachers has been the most difficult. But all the subjects showed signs of moving in the right direction. In 2016, 68 per cent of schools had difficulties, but that number fell to 58 per cent in 2017.

Are the result a False dawn?

The stats are not amazing turn arounds by any stretch of the imagination, and you might argue they could hardly get worse. But when we are so ready to highlight the bad – we must acknowledge when there is potential hope that things are moving in the right direction.

Neither can we get ahead of ourselves though. Emma Knights, chief executive of the NGA said:

“I was surprised – I was expecting to see it around the same sort of level [as last year]. We had no indication that it was getting better. It does not really tie in with the anecdotal evidence we have been getting.”

And Paul Whiteman, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers said:

“Everything we are getting back from our members is that it’s just as hard to recruit as before… Whether it’s an anomaly or the first shoots of a recovery, I just don’t know.”

Hopefully it is not an anomaly and the situation is starting to ease. There’s no delusion though – teacher recruitment is still in a bad place and more needs to be done to support and help teachers in the profession, and more needs to be done to encourage more people to consider a career in teaching.

If you want to alleviate the struggles of recruitment then why not consider software? ATS software (applicant tracking software) can be bolted on to IRIS HR Pro to help you automate your recruitment. Larger organisations can utilise the power of IRIS Cascade HRi's recruitment software add-on.

Related links & news stories

TES: Is the teacher recruitment crisis beginning to ease?