A lack of professional development and investment in people could be a strong contributing factor to the difficulty many schools face in finding and keeping the right people.
To combat the documented fall in teachers entering the industry as trainees or newly qualified professionals, particularly where new and core subject areas are concerned, schools could consider a more structured approach to career development. Doing so will ensure that not only current teachers in your school develop and therefore remain with you, but that the image of the profession as offering rewarding careers influences take-up of teacher training courses.
As Guardian Roundtable contributor, John Howson states; “teachers aren’t fully formed when they come out of school training, it’s about a lifetime of development”.
When continued professional development (CPD) is offered to all members of staff, you create a healthy culture that looks after the simultaneous interests of everyone, but sometimes cost is a concern within schools. Can schools find ways to measure their return on investment?
If schools can dedicate time and resource to individual teacher performance and development, you should see a marked increase in your retention and attraction levels.
Women and flexible working
With the teaching profession predominantly dominated by women, maternity cover and the offer of flexible working where possible needs to be a key focus.
One option is to cover maternity absence or job share through the hire of a long-term supply member of staff on a negotiated “temporary-to-permanent agreement” at the start of the assignment. This will then give your school the most flexible and cost-effective solution to take this long-term supply person on permanently should this be required.
This solution not only supports maternity cover, but is also a great answer to the issue of how to support long-term sickness or potential recruitment gaps.