In recent years, there’s been a national shortage of teachers in the UK. Schools are also experiencing high drop-out rates, which is exasperating the problem. According to research, almost one in six teachers in England quit after just one year in the classroom. There’s a shortage of workers across all industries, but schools are among the most acute, along with care workers, chefs and sales and retail assistants. Milton Keynes and Northampton have been two of the locations that have experienced a shortage in teachers, yet have seen a rise in vacancies. Below, we explore the topic in more detail.
The rise of teaching vacancies
While teaching remains a hugely popular profession in the UK, the number of new teachers has still struggled to keep up with the demand. In Milton Keynes, there’s been a noticeable shortage of teachers which was also brought on by the effects of COVID-19, with several schools having to close as a result. These include both primary and secondary schools. The Labour party warned of a mass exodus of teaching jobs after the pandemic with pupils likely to be overcrowded in classrooms.
According to The Big Issue, Milton Keynes is one of many cities that saw above-average growth in vacancies, and it was reported that teaching was one of the sectors with the most job vacancies, along with engineering, logistics and warehouse work. There were more than 70,000 jobs in each area and some of these figures have reportedly been at their highest levels since November 2019.
There have also been shortages in Northampton and a local secondary school – Northampton International Academy – received criticism from parents over the handling of the staff shortages. Therefore, staff shortages can have a major impact on a school’s reputation and the ability of a school to provide sufficient education to young people.
Tackling the shortage crisis
There’s no doubt that schools need to tackle their shortages to keep up with the number of advertised vacancies. It’s been reported that to fill gaps in classrooms, Milton Keynes College and Two Mile Initial Teacher Training Partnership are working together to launch a new part-time course to train aspiring teachers who are already in some form of work. The idea is to ensure new teachers have a broad knowledge for when they start working in schools to help cover the shortages.
Furthermore, the course would also be ideal for classroom assistants already working in schools. This is just one example of a potential solution for the teaching shortages. Schools in Milton Keynes, Northampton and other areas in the UK could also spend more time on employee referral schemes. This means asking current teachers to recommend candidates for new positions in exchange for incentives. Recruiting and retaining teachers is essential for any school. The teaching industry is currently facing several challenges but with the right strategies in place, schools can keep pace with the rise in vacancies across the country.
What’s next for education?
There’s no doubt that the education sector has had to adapt to unforeseen challenges over the past year. We’ve seen many schools shift to online learning and remote teaching, which means professionals must adapt to a new form of teaching. With so many changes in the education system, there’s certainly a need for more teachers. Fortunately, it was reported that in Milton Keynes, 86 new primary and secondary school teachers were awarded ‘Qualified Teacher Status’ – which means the future looks bright for this particular area. As the demand for teachers increases, areas such as Milton Keynes and Northampton will need to continue to train a new generation of teachers to ensure young people receive a quality education.
Dunbar can assist your teaching career
Dunbar Education was founded in 2016 and since then, we’ve become a well-established recruitment agency. We have an excellent track record of matching the best teaching staff with jobs across the UK. Dunbar places teachers and support staff in schools in London, the Midlands and the South. We have a great team of dedicated consultants who are passionate about the education sector. We’re proud of what we do and work to achieve our goals every day. Our team recruits for secondary schools, primary schools and SEND schools. Contact us today to find out more and keep reading our blog more interesting articles.