Recruitment and retention: We do not need quick fixes

Quick fixes are not the solution to the teacher recruitment and retention crisis. Dr Sarah Charles and Dr Alison Hardman​ argue that it is about status, and policy-makers might look to Finland for an example of how to get it right.

If we are to believe the headlines, we might assume that those with qualified teacher status are a dying breed, soon to be extinct.

A range of data supports the headlines, with the government failing to meet its teacher recruitment targets for the last five years. Primary postgraduate numbers are down by 4.9 per cent and secondary applicants are down by 7.7 per cent.

This barren and arid landscape is equally bleak in terms of retention, with the National Audit Office having recently revealed that, in 2016, 34,910 teachers left the profession for reasons other than retirement.

Worse still, four in 10 teachers reportedly leave within their first year of qualification, while
53 per cent of teachers questioned in a recent survey said they were considering leaving the profession in the next two years due to the demands of the job (National Union of Teachers, 2015).

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