Recruitment is a headache for head teachers

The problem of recruiting teachers to schools in north Northumberland has been highlighted by an education charity.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 05 February, 2016, 07:05
Berwick Middle School head teacher Derryth Hope

Schools North East says the region’s schools, particularly those in rural areas, are having recruitment problems on an unprecedented scale.

Derryth Hope, head teacher at Berwick Middle School, agrees: “It took us about 15 months to recruit a maths teacher from first advertising to finally appointing somebody to the post.

“That meant that for that time we had a supply teacher in front of our classes and meant that our children didn’t really have the consistency of one teacher in front of them every day.”

Schools North East, which represents 1,250 schools, has warned that education establishments face an uphill battle with nearly 89 per cent of headteachers reporting issues with recruiting staff in the past year.

And 72 per cent of school leaders anticipate that finding teaching talent will become more difficult in the future.

The data comes as Schools NorthEast launches an online regional jobs portal – www.jobs inschoolsnortheast.com – to support schools from the Tees to the Tweed with recruitment and retention of teaching staff.

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Jobs in Schools|North East, which will operate on a not-for-profit basis, aims to bring all vacancies – teaching and non-teaching – into one place to create a one-stop-shop for candidates to access career opportunities.

Mike Parker, director of Schools North East, said: “Quality teaching is the lifeblood of our region’s future. We need to attract brilliant teachers who inspire pupils and give them the skills for life.

“North East schools face significant challenges in finding quality teachers and the recruitment process can be a lengthy and costly experience. Our aim with this initiative is to give prospective candidates the widest view of the job opportunities available to them.

“Nationally, nearly two-thirds of schools are making ‘significant’ cuts or dipping into reserves to stave off deficits and four in five school leaders say that budget cuts will have a negative impact on standards.

“In the North East, our school leaders report an ever more difficult drive to reduce unnecessary expenditure and focus it on where it really matters: on our students and young people. This regional recruitment solution will support schools to attract and retain the best teaching talent.”