ATL comment on House of Commons Education Committee report on teacher shortages

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Press release
21 February 2017 by ATL Media Office
Commenting on a report by the House of Commons Education Committee published today (Tuesday 21 February), Dr Mary Bousted, general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL), said: “ATL welcomes this report, showing that it’s listened to the voice of those in our profession.  

“Our evidence around the confusion of initial teacher training routes as a barrier to prospective students, to excessive workload during training, and the lack of any review around the impact of bursaries are reflected in this report. We hope that this will prompt an in-depth look at how initial teacher education can better attract, prepare and retain students who will become excellent teachers in our schools.

"We also welcome the recognition of the vital issue of teacher retention. Not only are more teachers leaving the profession, but as the report learned, more are doing so for reasons other than retirement. With 48% of teachers in the profession for less than 10 years, this retention issue is key, not just because of the need for teachers in the classroom, but also in terms of providing leadership and professional support for the new teachers we so desperately need. With fewer subject specialists every year, increased in-school initial training, losing experienced specialist teachers will have a hugely negative impact on the skill and knowledge-base within the profession.

“This report is clear that the Government and Ofsted must review their policies which are increasing teacher workload. They must also look to move from vague words of support for CPD to something far more concrete – through a clear entitlement for teachers to CPD and targeted funding to ensure that they have the time and access to opportunities. This might not solve this teacher shortage crisis in a day, but it’s a very good place to start.”

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