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Education Secretary Nicky Morgan ‘must tackle teacher recruitment crisis’

ATL | Association of Teachers and Lecturers

3 min read Partner content

A crisis in teacher recruitment is the Education Secretary Nicky Morgan’s greatest challenge, the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) has warned.

According to the union, Ms Morgan must urgently address the problems of recruiting and retaining teachers.

In an open letter ATL general secretary Dr Mary Bousted urged her to work constructively with the education unions, and outlined the key challenges facing the sector.

Ms Bousted wrote: “The greatest challenge will be the crisis in teacher recruitment. Children’s education will suffer if we do not have enough qualified, experienced teachers. Unfortunately teachers are leaving the profession in droves at a time when more children are entering the school system.”



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She suggested that Ms Morgan should “carry out a thorough evaluation of the School Direct programme which has failed to recruit sufficient trainee teachers and failed to provide high quality teacher training” and “halt the decline in university-based teacher training”.

Ms Bousted also welcomed the Education Secretary’s commitment to challenging teachers’ workloads, describing the issue as “the key reason for teachers leaving the profession.”

She argued that Ofsted requires fundamental changes since “one of the key causes of increased workload has been the ever-more punitive inspection system”. And she urged Nicky Morgan to read ATL’s proposals for a new, peer-led, supportive and rigorous inspection system (see ATL's vision for inspection)

In a separate letter to Sajid Javid, the new Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Mary Bousted wrote that “16-24 year olds are three times more likely to be unemployed than the rest of the population.

“Cuts in funding for further education (FE) have left colleges reeling. Amalgamations of colleges and closure of courses have led to fewer options for young people to stay in education, and the cuts to the maintenance allowance has left many unable to travel the greater distances to access any remaining provision. Cuts have also led to the loss of professional staff.

“Unless addressed, the crisis in FE colleges will impact on those young people who are most disadvantaged, including Black and Minority Ethnic young people who are much more likely to access FE as a way of getting back on track. I urge you to commit to protecting the budget for FE colleges.”

She also called on Mr Javid to “work closely with the Department for Education to invest in a national, face-to-face careers guidance system that will be accessible to all young people, and particularly the most vulnerable”.

The letter to Nicky Morgan can be viewed hereand the letter to Sajid Javid can be viewed here.

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