Resource aims to boost teacher recruitment in London

Written by: Pete Henshaw | Published:
Image: Adobe Stock

Teachers in London are leaving the profession at a higher rate than the national average because of the high cost of housing.

The findings have been revealed in research commissioned by the Mayor of London and carried out by the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) as part of its on-going work on teacher recruitment and retention.

The NFER says that the teacher shortfall in London is likely to grow as projections show that 12,950 additional secondary schools places will be required in the capital each year over the next six years.

The research finds that London has more young teachers (aged 25-29) than other areas and while these teachers are attracted to the initial vibrancy of life in the capital they struggle to cope with the high cost of rent.

The data shows that between 2010 and 2015 one in 10 teachers (10.5 per cent) in London left teaching for reasons other than retirement – this compares to the national average of 7.5 per cent.

The report says that nationally teachers in their 20s are among those most likely to quit the profession and as London has more younger teachers it is more vulnerable to this effect.

However, the report also finds that many young and early career teachers move out of London but choose to stay in teaching.

It finds that the youngest teachers are moving into London but teachers in their 30s are moving out. Factors identified in the report include high rent prices, difficulty getting a mortgage and other barriers such as high childcare costs.

It states: “At both primary and secondary level, London is a net importer of teachers in their twenties (except for primary teachers age 25-29) and a net exporter of teachers at other ages, particularly those in their thirties.

“Interviews with teachers suggest that the vibrancy of London and the pace of its education system seem to initially attract younger teachers, while there are factors that could discourage teachers from remaining in London in their 30s and beyond. Staying in London at the point of wanting to settle down and start a family was considered challenging. This was thought to primarily be because of the cost of housing – either rental costs or difficulties in obtaining a mortgage.”

The findings have been published as the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan launched Teach London – an online resource aimed at supporting people who are considering joining the profession.

The website resource sets out and promotes the benefits of starting and continuing a teaching career in London. It also aims to help career progression, providing coaching, training and support for teachers who are keen to make the step up to leadership roles such as headteachers. Mr Khan has also announced plans to provide mental health first aid training to 2,000 teachers through his Thrive London programme.


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