A recent report covered in the media suggests that recruitment targets for schools were missed for the last five years. The consequences for students trying to get an education are evident. With fewer teachers available, children won’t get the same level of information and attention as their predecessors. That could result in a generation of young people who struggle to gain university placements or find their way into well-paid jobs. Today, we’re going to take a quick look at just some of the reasons for that situation. Experts predict things will turn around during the next two years. However, there’s still a long way to go.
Low annual salaries
The average annual salary for a permanent teacher in the UK is somewhere between £20,000 and £30,000 depending on experience. While those who accept temporary teaching jobs tend to earn more, most would agree the wages are low. When someone spends three or more years at university, they expect to come out with better-earning potential. That said, teaching isn’t all about the money. The best professionals do the job because they want to mold young minds and give something back. Salaries are due to rise during the next couple of months, but whether they increase enough to attract more students remains to be seen.
Low teacher retention rates
One of the best ways to increase the talent pool involves encouraging young people to train as teachers. However, it’s also important to improve retention rates amongst those already in the profession. To do that, schools must start to provide extra benefits to those in their employment. For example, offering medical schemes is a wise move. It could help teachers to spend less on caring for themselves, and thus make their wages stretch further. Schools also need to ensure they have the best pension program in place possible. People don’t want to retire from the job to find they have to live in squalor.
A lack of support within the role
Kids can become a real handful these days. That is especially the case when there are thirty of them in a classroom with only one teacher. Keeping control can seem like an impossible task, and that’s why people need support. Lots of schools fail to provide the assistance teachers require these days. That is why it’s often hard to fill vacancies. More people will stay in the profession if they feel their superiors have their back. Research shows that education is one of the industries where workers suffer emotional breakdowns. That is often the result of unruly students and a lack of staff support.
All schools should want to employ as many full-time teachers as possible. That limits the amount of agency staff they require, and it means their students get a better education. With a bit of luck, the current situation will improve during the next couple of years. Still, it’s vital that schools take a look at the reasons for their issues. Treating their staff better and providing all the support they need will make a big difference. It’s a stressful job most of the time, but somebody’s got to do it.