Every week I receive Steve Besleys’ Policy Eye on the week in education. It’s always an interesting read with a common recurring theme being the national shortage of teachers. This weeks report is no different, reporting schools are sharing staff to cover lessons. Here’s my week in education!

I spend my week fielding numerous enquiries from teachers wanting to return to teaching, finding them a school to be placed in, undertaking their pre-employment checks and meeting with them and their placement schools to agree start dates. Add to that my teaching load on my own Teach Again placement; planning lessons in a subject I have not taught before just to increase my chances of being employed again as a teacher; and getting ready to teach four days a week between Easter and mid-June as an employee of the school.

My daughter found out this week what High School she was going to be attending in September. It’s a good school, but on the frequent visits I have made there as a parent, it’s not hard to spot the range of international accents of the teachers – from Canada, Ireland and New Zealand. I know they are wonderful at their jobs and the school would not have it any other way, but I can’t help feeling we are doing a dis-service to our home grown aspiring returning teachers in that without support on a national level, many will never teach again. And the cost to schools of recruiting from abroad, in this climate of increasing budget cuts, must make one draw breath.

ASCL general secretary Malcolm Trobe has said: “Teacher shortages leave schools with no option other than to use stop-gap solutions”

Come on Britain, support learners from being on the receiving end of stop-gap solutions, and plug that gap through support returning teachers. I look forward to another week in education!




Poor Careers advice?

The Telegraph is reporting a survey that suggests nearly half of teachers believe that the careers advice offered by schools is ‘adequate or poor’ with 13 per cent saying it was ‘poor or very poor’.

It’s disappointing that this is still the case, given that this correlates with some research conducted by Ofsted in 2013 which evidenced only 20% of schools in their research group were effectively implementing their duty to provide impartial careers advice. I undertook my own local research across an authority and as a result, provided strategic support to schools over the course of eighteen months which resulted in 65% of the districts schools effectively implementing their duty to provide impartial careers advice and being Ofsted ready.

Young people need to make the right choices about their future. If your school wants to ensure young people are effectively supported, statutory duties are met and Ofsted is prepared for, check out my consultancy pages for how you can be supported by Teach Again Ltd.