The benefits of school-to-school collaboration for effective CPD, teacher recruitment and retention can be powerful and long-term. Polly Butterfield-Tracey looks at how a group of schools in the South East is overcoming the barriers to collaboration

Earlier this year, the government launched a new strategy for the recruitment and retention of teachers (DfE, 2019), recognising that there are on-going and significant challenges to ensuring that teachers are attracted to and able to stay in the profession.

Its key priorities include early career support, a reduction in teacher workload, and creating a diverse range of options for teachers’ careers.

To build a career offer that attracts potential teachers and remains attractive, schools must work together to build local communities with a high engagement in professional learning.

In the South East we serve a highly disadvantaged community. Many wards rank within the top 10 per cent most deprived in the UK (IDACI) and urban coastal schools have among the highest proportion of unqualified teachers. This has an impact on recruitment and retention and more than 25 per cent of secondary and eight per cent of primary schools reported vacancies or temporary appointments in the wider South East region in the Department for Education’s (DfE) 2015 Workload Analysis.

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