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Up-skill your colleagues to help overcome today’s challenges in schools

 
In a recent report published by BESA (British Educational Suppliers Association), the top three priorities for schools were discovered to be:

  • Educational outcomes
  • Budget/cost savings
  • Recruitment and retention

Although this survey was completed among Multi-Academy Trusts (MATs) in the UK, our recent discussions with educators on the phone, at conferences and during our EP school visits suggest that this trend is mirrored across all schools in the UK and internationally.

Despite CPD coming low on the list of priorities in the report, we strongly believe that our courses in educational testing and assessments will help schools achieve improvements in all three top priority areas.

Priority 1 – Educational outcomes

By investing in the skills and knowledge of your teachers, SENCOs and support staff, the school will be better equipped to support all students and help them to reach their potential. You will also be able to work more effectively with your setting’s educational psychologist, using their time to find ways to better support the most vulnerable students in your school, rather than them simply carrying out educational testing for you, thus improving educational outcomes for all students.

Priority 2 – Budget/cost savings

With one or more of your colleagues trained to be able to undertake assessments in-house, you will be able to reduce the need to outsource this service with an external educational psychologist or other professional consultant. Although we recognise that there is an initial outlay for the training, bringing assessments in-house will reduce overall costs for the school relatively quickly – your colleague can be trained for less than the cost of two professional assessments with an external provider.

Priority 3 – Recruitment and retention

The internationally renowned thought leader Doug Conant once said: “It’s unrealistic to expect extraordinary effort and performance without creating an environment where people feel extraordinarily valued.” By providing development opportunities for your staff, you will be creating a culture and atmosphere where everyone feels valued and appreciated, making them more likely to want to join the team and be a part of your great school for a long time. As well as our professional assessment qualifications CCET and CPT3A, we also have a range of other training opportunities for other professionals at your school.

What’s next?

Study options for CCET and CPT3A include fully online delivery, blended learning or intensive face-to-face training. Bespoke solutions are available for schools or trusts with 6 or more colleagues to train. When you have chosen the preferred course and study route, you simply need to complete the online booking form – it takes just 2 minutes and no payment is taken at this stage.

If you’re looking to train a colleague in CCET or CPT3A soon, we have some intensive course dates in January which have a limited number of spaces left. For example, there are two CCET courses on 23-25 January – one in Manchester and one at our Real Training offices in Greenwich.

Already have someone trained? 

If you already have someone trained with CCET or CPT3A and think they could benefit from additional support, instead of paying for the full CCET or CPT3A course, it is also possible to train one or more of your support staff to become Assistant Test Users.

Learn how to lead inclusively with Real Training – supporting SENCOs for 15 years

As we move into December and get ready for the festive season ahead, it is also a good time to reflect on the school year so far and plan for 2019.

At Real Training we are doing exactly that – our elves are busy preparing for our January cohorts and we are looking forward to working with hundreds of SENCOs and other education professionals all over the world who have already booked a course with us for January. If you have plans to improve your SEN support and leadership skills during 2019, then we have a number of training course options available to you, all of which are ideal for SENCOs and aspiring SENCOs.

All our courses are available to complete online, offering the following benefits:

  •  You can study with the ultimate flexibility – with no internal deadlines for assignments, you can complete the work at a pace and time that suits you.
  •  You do not have to take time away from school – with school life becoming increasingly busy, not having to attend regular face-to-face sessions can be a huge advantage for you and your employer.
  •  You have a great support network – as well as your highly-qualified online tutor who will work with you on a one-to-one basis, you can also network and share best practice with other like-minded SENCOs from all over the world.

If you are interested in the NPQSL course, don’t forget that there are DfE-funded NPQ places available for schools in Opportunity Areas and Category 5 and 6 areas, but only if you book a place in our January cohort before 13 December. Contact us for more details.

If you are looking to complete CCET or CPT3A and wish to fast-track your learning journey, you may also be interested in our intensive face-to-face courses we are offering next year. We have two CCET courses in January with limited places left:

  •  23-25 January, Manchester (Cottons Hotel)
  • 23-25 January, London (Real Group Greenwich HQ)

Uncertainty certainly not helping the teacher recruitment crisis

In this issue…

ABOUT STUART CURRY

Stuart joined Real Group in 2016 as the Head of Marketing. Prior to joining Real Group, Stuart worked in marketing, journalism and commercial development across a range of organisations. With a long-standing passion for education and inclusion, he is also an occasional contributor to the TSP Briefing
 
 
 

Editorial

Having attended a number of teaching conferences recently, both in the UK and overseas, a conversation I’ve had many times with school leaders is about the challenges they face in recruiting new teaching staff. And nowhere does this seem more acute than in the UK. In this post Stuart will explore some of the contributing factors – and what would need to change to turn the tide and make teaching the attractive proposition it once was for the brightest and best.

I hope you enjoy the piece and that you will share it with your colleagues.

As always, please contact us if you have any thoughts on what topics you would like to see covered, or what we can do to improve the TSP Briefing further.

Kind regards,

Stuart Curry

Real Group

In this issue…

“Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold” WB Yeats, The Second Coming

 

The findings from the Department for Education’s (DfE) most recent School Workforce Statistics Report were as troubling as they were unsurprising to anyone with even the most tenuous knowledge of what faces schools and colleges in these most uncertain of times.

From 2011 to 2015, the number of full time equivalent (FTE) teachers in England steadily grew, broadly – if not precisely – mirroring the growth of schools’ student population. Overall, the pupil-teacher ratio* fluctuated between a low of 17.1 and 17.2 in the first four years of that period, with a slight uptick to 17.4 in 2015. In isolation, and without context, 2015 could have been seen as a statistical anomaly. However, the last two years’ data suggested it was less an outlier and more a sign of things to come. The subsequent two years saw increases to 17.6 and then 17.9 – the most current data available (2017).

Things downstream look no better. Whilst for the past three years the percentage of teachers leaving the profession (temporarily or permanently) has been stable at 9.9% (though this in itself is an historic high), the proportion of entrants to the teaching workforce has shown a sharp decline. From 2011 to 2014, significantly more teachers joined the profession than left – something critical in maintaining manageable pupil-teacher ratios in a growing populous – 2017 saw an exact replacement rate. One need not be a statistics guru to appreciate that more students and the same number of teachers isn’t business as usual, but a real-world shrinking of the workforce.

So what is at the heart of this issue? And, perhaps more importantly, what can be done to turn the tide?

Ask any teacher and you will get a number of reasons for the recruitment crisis, from low morale, ever-increasing paperwork, growing class sizes, the fact that wages have not kept pace with inflation, challenges with budgets…. The list is considerable, and each and every one of them is entirely valid. It would take a politician of an especially Panglossian disposition to challenge the veracity of these issues. To their partial credit, the issue of an untenable workload has been acknowledged (if far from resolved) by this government, starting with 2014’s workload challenge and most recently in a joint open letter sent in November to school leaders from a group including Damien Hinds and Amanda Spielman.  

But…. Whilst the facts of this reality are not in question (at least not by this writer), it fails to explain the issue at hand as these are mostly challenges for those already in the profession. And, as an aside, it speaks of the remarkable stoicism and unwavering dedication of teachers across the country that the proportion of those leaving the profession hasn’t changed significantly. The problem with filling the bath is not that the plug is out, but that the taps are faulty.

So where have the next generation of teachers gone? In times past, it’s a well-worn truism that in times of economic troubles, people turn to teaching as a stable career and when the nation’s economy is in growth, the profession finds recruiting more challenging. Following 2008’s crisis the UK finds itself in an odd position – growth, of sorts, but the popular sentiment doesn’t match the figures.

We must ask what makes a career attractive to a graduate, and consider some areas where teaching currently misses the mark. First and foremost, I believe, career-minded graduates are now seeking some degree of stability and certainty – something historically which would have led them to teach.

As a body politic and a nation, stability and certainty are two things most notable by their absence. From a government ruling only with the support of an intransigent partner and an ever-changing cast in and around 10 Downing Street (since 2014 we’ve had four iterations of government, two Prime Ministers and four Secretaries of State for Education) the corridors of power have rarely been more congested. And this doesn’t take into account November’s wholesale changes and broader political turmoil, the ultimate impacts of which are, at time of writing, not fully known.

This, however, isn’t a local difficulty but touches at the very heart of the education profession, and its ability to attract the best and brightest. With new governments and new Secretaries of State come often sweeping changes to policy. And, from the outside, it is easy to wonder what on earth is going on. Additionally, Her Majesty’s Opposition have – not unreasonably from their perspective – recently stated, via Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner at the Labour Party Conference, that they will turn back the tide of academisation of schools if they win at the next election. Whatever you think of that specific policy is in this instance immaterial – all it speaks of to the eager graduate is a political landscape, and therefore a state education sector, in a state of constant flux. Young people seeking to build a career do not wish to join a sector not knowing what tomorrow, let alone a decade later, may bring. The stability – perceived or real – that a career in teaching once offered is now markedly less apparent. 

When we add to this unappetising mix the impacts of Brexit and the understandable reluctance of EU teachers to move to the UK, regardless of supposed assurances, it is not hard to see why recruitment numbers are low and continuing to drop from the EU. And this sense of not being welcome is having a similar depressive effect on migration from all parts of the globe.

A combination of increasingly fractious politics leading to a push-me-pull-you to the extremities of opinion could, unchecked, create a self-perpetuating cycle of challenges. A cycle which must be broken for the benefit of educators and schools, and indeed the long-term wellbeing of the nation. Teachers and would-be teachers would all benefit from a more stable and steady environment and not one buffeted between the extremes of the body politic.

Whilst Yeats, with his admirable insight and formidable intellect, couldn’t have foreseen our current troubles, and had a very different divided nation in mind when he was writing The Second Coming, the last refrain of the first paragraph is remarkably apposite in highlighting what holds back meaningful progress – in education and the nation at large:

“The best lack all conviction, while the worst

Are full of passionate intensity.”

*Pupil-Teacher Ratio is defined by combining number of Full Time Equivalent (FTE) teacher numbers from the November School Workforce Census with the FTE pupil numbers from the following January School Census.  

 

 

The gaps and challenges in the SEND Landscape

In our fourth issue of the newly-minted TSP briefing, Editor-at-Large Edward Farrow speaks with Daisy Christodoulou, Director of Education at No More Marking and former Head of Assessment at Ark Schools in a wide-ranging discussion about the gaps – and challenges – in assessment along with her view on the broader SEND landscape.

 
Read more

Daring to make mistakes

Stuart Curry, Head of Marketing at Real Group, wanted to share some thoughts – partly prompted by a news story about what is possible, and also by a hazy recollection of a quote from a GCSE history class some (many) years ago. In challenging times, do we take a belt-and-braces, safety-first approach, or do we see the opportunity hidden in the myriad pressures?

 
 
Read more

Can OFSTED be a SENCO’s Best Friend?

This issue is a piece by renowned SEND influencer, Brian Lamb OBE. Past experience may cause many educators to throw their hands up in horror at the sentiment, but read to see how – and why – Brian thinks SENCOs can use this framework to their – and most importantly their students’ benefit.

Read more

Plus…

DfE funding now available for NPQ training

Following a meeting with the Department for Education (DfE), we wanted to make it public that the DfE funding for NPQ courses is once again available.

READ MORE

 

Looking for a National Award in SEN Coordination course? Look no further….

If you are planning on getting one of your team trained as a SENCO – or training yourself – we are now taking registrations for our January intake for our acclaimed National Award in SEN Coordination programme.

FIND OUT MORE

 

International Award in SEN Coordination

We have taken the best of the UK award, augmented it and then changed the rest to make the course agnostic to location or geography, and also have a greater focus on issues that matter to leaders in international schools, like third culture kids, and the intersection of local and scholastic language in students with EAL. 

READ MORE

News

Up-skill your colleagues to help overcome today’s challenges in schools

  In a recent report published by BESA (British Educational Suppliers Association), the top three priorities for schools were discovered to be: Educational outcomes Budget/cost savings Recruitment and retention Although this survey was completed among Multi-Academy Trusts (MATs) in the UK, our recent discussions with educators on the phone, at conferences and during our EP […]

Learn how to lead inclusively with Real Training – supporting SENCOs for 15 years

As we move into December and get ready for the festive season ahead, it is also a good time to reflect on the school year so far and plan for 2019. At Real Training we are doing exactly that – our elves are busy preparing for our January cohorts and we are looking forward to working with […]

Issue 24 December 2018

Uncertainty certainly not helping the teacher recruitment crisis

Having attended a number of teaching conferences recently, both in the UK and overseas, a conversation Stuart Curry, Head of Marketing at Real Group, has had many times with school leaders is about the challenges they face in recruiting new teaching staff. And nowhere does this seem more acute than in the UK. In this post Stuart will explore some of the contributing factors – and what would need to change to turn the tide and make teaching the attractive proposition it once was for the brightest and best. 

See the full archive

Get in touch

If you have any questions, or there is anything that you want to say…

Email the editor

 

In this issue…

ABOUT STUART CURRY

Stuart joined Real Group in 2016 as the Head of Marketing. Prior to joining Real Group, Stuart worked in marketing, journalism and commercial development across a range of organisations. With a long-standing passion for education and inclusion, he is also an occasional contributor to the TSP Briefing
 
 
 

Editorial

Having attended a number of teaching conferences recently, both in the UK and overseas, a conversation I’ve had many times with school leaders is about the challenges they face in recruiting new teaching staff. And nowhere does this seem more acute than in the UK. In this post Stuart will explore some of the contributing factors – and what would need to change to turn the tide and make teaching the attractive proposition it once was for the brightest and best.

I hope you enjoy the piece and that you will share it with your colleagues.

As always, please contact us if you have any thoughts on what topics you would like to see covered, or what we can do to improve the TSP Briefing further.

Kind regards,

Stuart Curry

Real Group

In this issue…

“Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold” WB Yeats, The Second Coming

 

The findings from the Department for Education’s (DfE) most recent School Workforce Statistics Report were as troubling as they were unsurprising to anyone with even the most tenuous knowledge of what faces schools and colleges in these most uncertain of times.

From 2011 to 2015, the number of full time equivalent (FTE) teachers in England steadily grew, broadly – if not precisely – mirroring the growth of schools’ student population. Overall, the pupil-teacher ratio* fluctuated between a low of 17.1 and 17.2 in the first four years of that period, with a slight uptick to 17.4 in 2015. In isolation, and without context, 2015 could have been seen as a statistical anomaly. However, the last two years’ data suggested it was less an outlier and more a sign of things to come. The subsequent two years saw increases to 17.6 and then 17.9 – the most current data available (2017).

Things downstream look no better. Whilst for the past three years the percentage of teachers leaving the profession (temporarily or permanently) has been stable at 9.9% (though this in itself is an historic high), the proportion of entrants to the teaching workforce has shown a sharp decline. From 2011 to 2014, significantly more teachers joined the profession than left – something critical in maintaining manageable pupil-teacher ratios in a growing populous – 2017 saw an exact replacement rate. One need not be a statistics guru to appreciate that more students and the same number of teachers isn’t business as usual, but a real-world shrinking of the workforce.

So what is at the heart of this issue? And, perhaps more importantly, what can be done to turn the tide?

Ask any teacher and you will get a number of reasons for the recruitment crisis, from low morale, ever-increasing paperwork, growing class sizes, the fact that wages have not kept pace with inflation, challenges with budgets…. The list is considerable, and each and every one of them is entirely valid. It would take a politician of an especially Panglossian disposition to challenge the veracity of these issues. To their partial credit, the issue of an untenable workload has been acknowledged (if far from resolved) by this government, starting with 2014’s workload challenge and most recently in a joint open letter sent in November to school leaders from a group including Damien Hinds and Amanda Spielman.  

But…. Whilst the facts of this reality are not in question (at least not by this writer), it fails to explain the issue at hand as these are mostly challenges for those already in the profession. And, as an aside, it speaks of the remarkable stoicism and unwavering dedication of teachers across the country that the proportion of those leaving the profession hasn’t changed significantly. The problem with filling the bath is not that the plug is out, but that the taps are faulty.

So where have the next generation of teachers gone? In times past, it’s a well-worn truism that in times of economic troubles, people turn to teaching as a stable career and when the nation’s economy is in growth, the profession finds recruiting more challenging. Following 2008’s crisis the UK finds itself in an odd position – growth, of sorts, but the popular sentiment doesn’t match the figures.

We must ask what makes a career attractive to a graduate, and consider some areas where teaching currently misses the mark. First and foremost, I believe, career-minded graduates are now seeking some degree of stability and certainty – something historically which would have led them to teach.

As a body politic and a nation, stability and certainty are two things most notable by their absence. From a government ruling only with the support of an intransigent partner and an ever-changing cast in and around 10 Downing Street (since 2014 we’ve had four iterations of government, two Prime Ministers and four Secretaries of State for Education) the corridors of power have rarely been more congested. And this doesn’t take into account November’s wholesale changes and broader political turmoil, the ultimate impacts of which are, at time of writing, not fully known.

This, however, isn’t a local difficulty but touches at the very heart of the education profession, and its ability to attract the best and brightest. With new governments and new Secretaries of State come often sweeping changes to policy. And, from the outside, it is easy to wonder what on earth is going on. Additionally, Her Majesty’s Opposition have – not unreasonably from their perspective – recently stated, via Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner at the Labour Party Conference, that they will turn back the tide of academisation of schools if they win at the next election. Whatever you think of that specific policy is in this instance immaterial – all it speaks of to the eager graduate is a political landscape, and therefore a state education sector, in a state of constant flux. Young people seeking to build a career do not wish to join a sector not knowing what tomorrow, let alone a decade later, may bring. The stability – perceived or real – that a career in teaching once offered is now markedly less apparent. 

When we add to this unappetising mix the impacts of Brexit and the understandable reluctance of EU teachers to move to the UK, regardless of supposed assurances, it is not hard to see why recruitment numbers are low and continuing to drop from the EU. And this sense of not being welcome is having a similar depressive effect on migration from all parts of the globe.

A combination of increasingly fractious politics leading to a push-me-pull-you to the extremities of opinion could, unchecked, create a self-perpetuating cycle of challenges. A cycle which must be broken for the benefit of educators and schools, and indeed the long-term wellbeing of the nation. Teachers and would-be teachers would all benefit from a more stable and steady environment and not one buffeted between the extremes of the body politic.

Whilst Yeats, with his admirable insight and formidable intellect, couldn’t have foreseen our current troubles, and had a very different divided nation in mind when he was writing The Second Coming, the last refrain of the first paragraph is remarkably apposite in highlighting what holds back meaningful progress – in education and the nation at large:

“The best lack all conviction, while the worst

Are full of passionate intensity.”

*Pupil-Teacher Ratio is defined by combining number of Full Time Equivalent (FTE) teacher numbers from the November School Workforce Census with the FTE pupil numbers from the following January School Census.  

 

 

The gaps and challenges in the SEND Landscape

In our fourth issue of the newly-minted TSP briefing, Editor-at-Large Edward Farrow speaks with Daisy Christodoulou, Director of Education at No More Marking and former Head of Assessment at Ark Schools in a wide-ranging discussion about the gaps – and challenges – in assessment along with her view on the broader SEND landscape.

 
Read more

Daring to make mistakes

Stuart Curry, Head of Marketing at Real Group, wanted to share some thoughts – partly prompted by a news story about what is possible, and also by a hazy recollection of a quote from a GCSE history class some (many) years ago. In challenging times, do we take a belt-and-braces, safety-first approach, or do we see the opportunity hidden in the myriad pressures?

 
 
Read more

Can OFSTED be a SENCO’s Best Friend?

This issue is a piece by renowned SEND influencer, Brian Lamb OBE. Past experience may cause many educators to throw their hands up in horror at the sentiment, but read to see how – and why – Brian thinks SENCOs can use this framework to their – and most importantly their students’ benefit.

Read more

Plus…

DfE funding now available for NPQ training

Following a meeting with the Department for Education (DfE), we wanted to make it public that the DfE funding for NPQ courses is once again available.

READ MORE

 

Looking for a National Award in SEN Coordination course? Look no further….

If you are planning on getting one of your team trained as a SENCO – or training yourself – we are now taking registrations for our January intake for our acclaimed National Award in SEN Coordination programme.

FIND OUT MORE

 

International Award in SEN Coordination

We have taken the best of the UK award, augmented it and then changed the rest to make the course agnostic to location or geography, and also have a greater focus on issues that matter to leaders in international schools, like third culture kids, and the intersection of local and scholastic language in students with EAL. 

READ MORE

Get in touch

If you have any questions, or there is anything that you want to say…

Email the editor

 

In this issue…

ABOUT STUART CURRY

Stuart joined Real Group in 2016 as the Head of Marketing. Prior to joining Real Group, Stuart worked in marketing, journalism and commercial development across a range of organisations. With a long-standing passion for education and inclusion, he is also an occasional contributor to the TSP Briefing
 
 
 

Editorial

Having attended a number of teaching conferences recently, both in the UK and overseas, a conversation I’ve had many times with school leaders is about the challenges they face in recruiting new teaching staff. And nowhere does this seem more acute than in the UK. In this post Stuart will explore some of the contributing factors – and what would need to change to turn the tide and make teaching the attractive proposition it once was for the brightest and best.

I hope you enjoy the piece and that you will share it with your colleagues.

As always, please contact us if you have any thoughts on what topics you would like to see covered, or what we can do to improve the TSP Briefing further.

Kind regards,

Stuart Curry

Real Group

In this issue…

“Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold” WB Yeats, The Second Coming

 

The findings from the Department for Education’s (DfE) most recent School Workforce Statistics Report were as troubling as they were unsurprising to anyone with even the most tenuous knowledge of what faces schools and colleges in these most uncertain of times.

From 2011 to 2015, the number of full time equivalent (FTE) teachers in England steadily grew, broadly – if not precisely – mirroring the growth of schools’ student population. Overall, the pupil-teacher ratio* fluctuated between a low of 17.1 and 17.2 in the first four years of that period, with a slight uptick to 17.4 in 2015. In isolation, and without context, 2015 could have been seen as a statistical anomaly. However, the last two years’ data suggested it was less an outlier and more a sign of things to come. The subsequent two years saw increases to 17.6 and then 17.9 – the most current data available (2017).

Things downstream look no better. Whilst for the past three years the percentage of teachers leaving the profession (temporarily or permanently) has been stable at 9.9% (though this in itself is an historic high), the proportion of entrants to the teaching workforce has shown a sharp decline. From 2011 to 2014, significantly more teachers joined the profession than left – something critical in maintaining manageable pupil-teacher ratios in a growing populous – 2017 saw an exact replacement rate. One need not be a statistics guru to appreciate that more students and the same number of teachers isn’t business as usual, but a real-world shrinking of the workforce.

So what is at the heart of this issue? And, perhaps more importantly, what can be done to turn the tide?

Ask any teacher and you will get a number of reasons for the recruitment crisis, from low morale, ever-increasing paperwork, growing class sizes, the fact that wages have not kept pace with inflation, challenges with budgets…. The list is considerable, and each and every one of them is entirely valid. It would take a politician of an especially Panglossian disposition to challenge the veracity of these issues. To their partial credit, the issue of an untenable workload has been acknowledged (if far from resolved) by this government, starting with 2014’s workload challenge and most recently in a joint open letter sent in November to school leaders from a group including Damien Hinds and Amanda Spielman.  

But…. Whilst the facts of this reality are not in question (at least not by this writer), it fails to explain the issue at hand as these are mostly challenges for those already in the profession. And, as an aside, it speaks of the remarkable stoicism and unwavering dedication of teachers across the country that the proportion of those leaving the profession hasn’t changed significantly. The problem with filling the bath is not that the plug is out, but that the taps are faulty.

So where have the next generation of teachers gone? In times past, it’s a well-worn truism that in times of economic troubles, people turn to teaching as a stable career and when the nation’s economy is in growth, the profession finds recruiting more challenging. Following 2008’s crisis the UK finds itself in an odd position – growth, of sorts, but the popular sentiment doesn’t match the figures.

We must ask what makes a career attractive to a graduate, and consider some areas where teaching currently misses the mark. First and foremost, I believe, career-minded graduates are now seeking some degree of stability and certainty – something historically which would have led them to teach.

As a body politic and a nation, stability and certainty are two things most notable by their absence. From a government ruling only with the support of an intransigent partner and an ever-changing cast in and around 10 Downing Street (since 2014 we’ve had four iterations of government, two Prime Ministers and four Secretaries of State for Education) the corridors of power have rarely been more congested. And this doesn’t take into account November’s wholesale changes and broader political turmoil, the ultimate impacts of which are, at time of writing, not fully known.

This, however, isn’t a local difficulty but touches at the very heart of the education profession, and its ability to attract the best and brightest. With new governments and new Secretaries of State come often sweeping changes to policy. And, from the outside, it is easy to wonder what on earth is going on. Additionally, Her Majesty’s Opposition have – not unreasonably from their perspective – recently stated, via Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner at the Labour Party Conference, that they will turn back the tide of academisation of schools if they win at the next election. Whatever you think of that specific policy is in this instance immaterial – all it speaks of to the eager graduate is a political landscape, and therefore a state education sector, in a state of constant flux. Young people seeking to build a career do not wish to join a sector not knowing what tomorrow, let alone a decade later, may bring. The stability – perceived or real – that a career in teaching once offered is now markedly less apparent. 

When we add to this unappetising mix the impacts of Brexit and the understandable reluctance of EU teachers to move to the UK, regardless of supposed assurances, it is not hard to see why recruitment numbers are low and continuing to drop from the EU. And this sense of not being welcome is having a similar depressive effect on migration from all parts of the globe.

A combination of increasingly fractious politics leading to a push-me-pull-you to the extremities of opinion could, unchecked, create a self-perpetuating cycle of challenges. A cycle which must be broken for the benefit of educators and schools, and indeed the long-term wellbeing of the nation. Teachers and would-be teachers would all benefit from a more stable and steady environment and not one buffeted between the extremes of the body politic.

Whilst Yeats, with his admirable insight and formidable intellect, couldn’t have foreseen our current troubles, and had a very different divided nation in mind when he was writing The Second Coming, the last refrain of the first paragraph is remarkably apposite in highlighting what holds back meaningful progress – in education and the nation at large:

“The best lack all conviction, while the worst

Are full of passionate intensity.”

*Pupil-Teacher Ratio is defined by combining number of Full Time Equivalent (FTE) teacher numbers from the November School Workforce Census with the FTE pupil numbers from the following January School Census.  

 

 

The gaps and challenges in the SEND Landscape

In our fourth issue of the newly-minted TSP briefing, Editor-at-Large Edward Farrow speaks with Daisy Christodoulou, Director of Education at No More Marking and former Head of Assessment at Ark Schools in a wide-ranging discussion about the gaps – and challenges – in assessment along with her view on the broader SEND landscape.

 
Read more

Daring to make mistakes

Stuart Curry, Head of Marketing at Real Group, wanted to share some thoughts – partly prompted by a news story about what is possible, and also by a hazy recollection of a quote from a GCSE history class some (many) years ago. In challenging times, do we take a belt-and-braces, safety-first approach, or do we see the opportunity hidden in the myriad pressures?

 
 
Read more

Can OFSTED be a SENCO’s Best Friend?

This issue is a piece by renowned SEND influencer, Brian Lamb OBE. Past experience may cause many educators to throw their hands up in horror at the sentiment, but read to see how – and why – Brian thinks SENCOs can use this framework to their – and most importantly their students’ benefit.

Read more

Plus…

DfE funding now available for NPQ training

Following a meeting with the Department for Education (DfE), we wanted to make it public that the DfE funding for NPQ courses is once again available.

READ MORE

 

Looking for a National Award in SEN Coordination course? Look no further….

If you are planning on getting one of your team trained as a SENCO – or training yourself – we are now taking registrations for our January intake for our acclaimed National Award in SEN Coordination programme.

FIND OUT MORE

 

International Award in SEN Coordination

We have taken the best of the UK award, augmented it and then changed the rest to make the course agnostic to location or geography, and also have a greater focus on issues that matter to leaders in international schools, like third culture kids, and the intersection of local and scholastic language in students with EAL. 

READ MORE

Get in touch

If you have any questions, or there is anything that you want to say…

Email the editor

 

In this issue…

ABOUT STUART CURRY

Stuart joined Real Group in 2016 as the Head of Marketing. Prior to joining Real Group, Stuart worked in marketing, journalism and commercial development across a range of organisations. With a long-standing passion for education and inclusion, he is also an occasional contributor to the TSP Briefing
 
 
 

Editorial

Having attended a number of teaching conferences recently, both in the UK and overseas, a conversation I’ve had many times with school leaders is about the challenges they face in recruiting new teaching staff. And nowhere does this seem more acute than in the UK. In this post Stuart will explore some of the contributing factors – and what would need to change to turn the tide and make teaching the attractive proposition it once was for the brightest and best.

I hope you enjoy the piece and that you will share it with your colleagues.

As always, please contact us if you have any thoughts on what topics you would like to see covered, or what we can do to improve the TSP Briefing further.

Kind regards,

Stuart Curry

Real Group

In this issue…

“Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold” WB Yeats, The Second Coming

 

The findings from the Department for Education’s (DfE) most recent School Workforce Statistics Report were as troubling as they were unsurprising to anyone with even the most tenuous knowledge of what faces schools and colleges in these most uncertain of times.

From 2011 to 2015, the number of full time equivalent (FTE) teachers in England steadily grew, broadly – if not precisely – mirroring the growth of schools’ student population. Overall, the pupil-teacher ratio* fluctuated between a low of 17.1 and 17.2 in the first four years of that period, with a slight uptick to 17.4 in 2015. In isolation, and without context, 2015 could have been seen as a statistical anomaly. However, the last two years’ data suggested it was less an outlier and more a sign of things to come. The subsequent two years saw increases to 17.6 and then 17.9 – the most current data available (2017).

Things downstream look no better. Whilst for the past three years the percentage of teachers leaving the profession (temporarily or permanently) has been stable at 9.9% (though this in itself is an historic high), the proportion of entrants to the teaching workforce has shown a sharp decline. From 2011 to 2014, significantly more teachers joined the profession than left – something critical in maintaining manageable pupil-teacher ratios in a growing populous – 2017 saw an exact replacement rate. One need not be a statistics guru to appreciate that more students and the same number of teachers isn’t business as usual, but a real-world shrinking of the workforce.

So what is at the heart of this issue? And, perhaps more importantly, what can be done to turn the tide?

Ask any teacher and you will get a number of reasons for the recruitment crisis, from low morale, ever-increasing paperwork, growing class sizes, the fact that wages have not kept pace with inflation, challenges with budgets…. The list is considerable, and each and every one of them is entirely valid. It would take a politician of an especially Panglossian disposition to challenge the veracity of these issues. To their partial credit, the issue of an untenable workload has been acknowledged (if far from resolved) by this government, starting with 2014’s workload challenge and most recently in a joint open letter sent in November to school leaders from a group including Damien Hinds and Amanda Spielman.  

But…. Whilst the facts of this reality are not in question (at least not by this writer), it fails to explain the issue at hand as these are mostly challenges for those already in the profession. And, as an aside, it speaks of the remarkable stoicism and unwavering dedication of teachers across the country that the proportion of those leaving the profession hasn’t changed significantly. The problem with filling the bath is not that the plug is out, but that the taps are faulty.

So where have the next generation of teachers gone? In times past, it’s a well-worn truism that in times of economic troubles, people turn to teaching as a stable career and when the nation’s economy is in growth, the profession finds recruiting more challenging. Following 2008’s crisis the UK finds itself in an odd position – growth, of sorts, but the popular sentiment doesn’t match the figures.

We must ask what makes a career attractive to a graduate, and consider some areas where teaching currently misses the mark. First and foremost, I believe, career-minded graduates are now seeking some degree of stability and certainty – something historically which would have led them to teach.

As a body politic and a nation, stability and certainty are two things most notable by their absence. From a government ruling only with the support of an intransigent partner and an ever-changing cast in and around 10 Downing Street (since 2014 we’ve had four iterations of government, two Prime Ministers and four Secretaries of State for Education) the corridors of power have rarely been more congested. And this doesn’t take into account November’s wholesale changes and broader political turmoil, the ultimate impacts of which are, at time of writing, not fully known.

This, however, isn’t a local difficulty but touches at the very heart of the education profession, and its ability to attract the best and brightest. With new governments and new Secretaries of State come often sweeping changes to policy. And, from the outside, it is easy to wonder what on earth is going on. Additionally, Her Majesty’s Opposition have – not unreasonably from their perspective – recently stated, via Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner at the Labour Party Conference, that they will turn back the tide of academisation of schools if they win at the next election. Whatever you think of that specific policy is in this instance immaterial – all it speaks of to the eager graduate is a political landscape, and therefore a state education sector, in a state of constant flux. Young people seeking to build a career do not wish to join a sector not knowing what tomorrow, let alone a decade later, may bring. The stability – perceived or real – that a career in teaching once offered is now markedly less apparent. 

When we add to this unappetising mix the impacts of Brexit and the understandable reluctance of EU teachers to move to the UK, regardless of supposed assurances, it is not hard to see why recruitment numbers are low and continuing to drop from the EU. And this sense of not being welcome is having a similar depressive effect on migration from all parts of the globe.

A combination of increasingly fractious politics leading to a push-me-pull-you to the extremities of opinion could, unchecked, create a self-perpetuating cycle of challenges. A cycle which must be broken for the benefit of educators and schools, and indeed the long-term wellbeing of the nation. Teachers and would-be teachers would all benefit from a more stable and steady environment and not one buffeted between the extremes of the body politic.

Whilst Yeats, with his admirable insight and formidable intellect, couldn’t have foreseen our current troubles, and had a very different divided nation in mind when he was writing The Second Coming, the last refrain of the first paragraph is remarkably apposite in highlighting what holds back meaningful progress – in education and the nation at large:

“The best lack all conviction, while the worst

Are full of passionate intensity.”

*Pupil-Teacher Ratio is defined by combining number of Full Time Equivalent (FTE) teacher numbers from the November School Workforce Census with the FTE pupil numbers from the following January School Census.  

 

 

The gaps and challenges in the SEND Landscape

In our fourth issue of the newly-minted TSP briefing, Editor-at-Large Edward Farrow speaks with Daisy Christodoulou, Director of Education at No More Marking and former Head of Assessment at Ark Schools in a wide-ranging discussion about the gaps – and challenges – in assessment along with her view on the broader SEND landscape.

 
Read more

Daring to make mistakes

Stuart Curry, Head of Marketing at Real Group, wanted to share some thoughts – partly prompted by a news story about what is possible, and also by a hazy recollection of a quote from a GCSE history class some (many) years ago. In challenging times, do we take a belt-and-braces, safety-first approach, or do we see the opportunity hidden in the myriad pressures?

 
 
Read more

Can OFSTED be a SENCO’s Best Friend?

This issue is a piece by renowned SEND influencer, Brian Lamb OBE. Past experience may cause many educators to throw their hands up in horror at the sentiment, but read to see how – and why – Brian thinks SENCOs can use this framework to their – and most importantly their students’ benefit.

Read more

Plus…

DfE funding now available for NPQ training

Following a meeting with the Department for Education (DfE), we wanted to make it public that the DfE funding for NPQ courses is once again available.

READ MORE

 

Looking for a National Award in SEN Coordination course? Look no further….

If you are planning on getting one of your team trained as a SENCO – or training yourself – we are now taking registrations for our January intake for our acclaimed National Award in SEN Coordination programme.

FIND OUT MORE

 

International Award in SEN Coordination

We have taken the best of the UK award, augmented it and then changed the rest to make the course agnostic to location or geography, and also have a greater focus on issues that matter to leaders in international schools, like third culture kids, and the intersection of local and scholastic language in students with EAL. 

READ MORE

Get in touch

If you have any questions, or there is anything that you want to say…

Email the editor

 

In this issue…

ABOUT STUART CURRY

Stuart joined Real Group in 2016 as the Head of Marketing. Prior to joining Real Group, Stuart worked in marketing, journalism and commercial development across a range of organisations. With a long-standing passion for education and inclusion, he is also an occasional contributor to the TSP Briefing
 
 
 

Editorial

Having attended a number of teaching conferences recently, both in the UK and overseas, a conversation I’ve had many times with school leaders is about the challenges they face in recruiting new teaching staff. And nowhere does this seem more acute than in the UK. In this post Stuart will explore some of the contributing factors – and what would need to change to turn the tide and make teaching the attractive proposition it once was for the brightest and best.

I hope you enjoy the piece and that you will share it with your colleagues.

As always, please contact us if you have any thoughts on what topics you would like to see covered, or what we can do to improve the TSP Briefing further.

Kind regards,

Stuart Curry

Real Group

In this issue…

“Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold” WB Yeats, The Second Coming

 

The findings from the Department for Education’s (DfE) most recent School Workforce Statistics Report were as troubling as they were unsurprising to anyone with even the most tenuous knowledge of what faces schools and colleges in these most uncertain of times.

From 2011 to 2015, the number of full time equivalent (FTE) teachers in England steadily grew, broadly – if not precisely – mirroring the growth of schools’ student population. Overall, the pupil-teacher ratio* fluctuated between a low of 17.1 and 17.2 in the first four years of that period, with a slight uptick to 17.4 in 2015. In isolation, and without context, 2015 could have been seen as a statistical anomaly. However, the last two years’ data suggested it was less an outlier and more a sign of things to come. The subsequent two years saw increases to 17.6 and then 17.9 – the most current data available (2017).

Things downstream look no better. Whilst for the past three years the percentage of teachers leaving the profession (temporarily or permanently) has been stable at 9.9% (though this in itself is an historic high), the proportion of entrants to the teaching workforce has shown a sharp decline. From 2011 to 2014, significantly more teachers joined the profession than left – something critical in maintaining manageable pupil-teacher ratios in a growing populous – 2017 saw an exact replacement rate. One need not be a statistics guru to appreciate that more students and the same number of teachers isn’t business as usual, but a real-world shrinking of the workforce.

So what is at the heart of this issue? And, perhaps more importantly, what can be done to turn the tide?

Ask any teacher and you will get a number of reasons for the recruitment crisis, from low morale, ever-increasing paperwork, growing class sizes, the fact that wages have not kept pace with inflation, challenges with budgets…. The list is considerable, and each and every one of them is entirely valid. It would take a politician of an especially Panglossian disposition to challenge the veracity of these issues. To their partial credit, the issue of an untenable workload has been acknowledged (if far from resolved) by this government, starting with 2014’s workload challenge and most recently in a joint open letter sent in November to school leaders from a group including Damien Hinds and Amanda Spielman.  

But…. Whilst the facts of this reality are not in question (at least not by this writer), it fails to explain the issue at hand as these are mostly challenges for those already in the profession. And, as an aside, it speaks of the remarkable stoicism and unwavering dedication of teachers across the country that the proportion of those leaving the profession hasn’t changed significantly. The problem with filling the bath is not that the plug is out, but that the taps are faulty.

So where have the next generation of teachers gone? In times past, it’s a well-worn truism that in times of economic troubles, people turn to teaching as a stable career and when the nation’s economy is in growth, the profession finds recruiting more challenging. Following 2008’s crisis the UK finds itself in an odd position – growth, of sorts, but the popular sentiment doesn’t match the figures.

We must ask what makes a career attractive to a graduate, and consider some areas where teaching currently misses the mark. First and foremost, I believe, career-minded graduates are now seeking some degree of stability and certainty – something historically which would have led them to teach.

As a body politic and a nation, stability and certainty are two things most notable by their absence. From a government ruling only with the support of an intransigent partner and an ever-changing cast in and around 10 Downing Street (since 2014 we’ve had four iterations of government, two Prime Ministers and four Secretaries of State for Education) the corridors of power have rarely been more congested. And this doesn’t take into account November’s wholesale changes and broader political turmoil, the ultimate impacts of which are, at time of writing, not fully known.

This, however, isn’t a local difficulty but touches at the very heart of the education profession, and its ability to attract the best and brightest. With new governments and new Secretaries of State come often sweeping changes to policy. And, from the outside, it is easy to wonder what on earth is going on. Additionally, Her Majesty’s Opposition have – not unreasonably from their perspective – recently stated, via Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner at the Labour Party Conference, that they will turn back the tide of academisation of schools if they win at the next election. Whatever you think of that specific policy is in this instance immaterial – all it speaks of to the eager graduate is a political landscape, and therefore a state education sector, in a state of constant flux. Young people seeking to build a career do not wish to join a sector not knowing what tomorrow, let alone a decade later, may bring. The stability – perceived or real – that a career in teaching once offered is now markedly less apparent. 

When we add to this unappetising mix the impacts of Brexit and the understandable reluctance of EU teachers to move to the UK, regardless of supposed assurances, it is not hard to see why recruitment numbers are low and continuing to drop from the EU. And this sense of not being welcome is having a similar depressive effect on migration from all parts of the globe.

A combination of increasingly fractious politics leading to a push-me-pull-you to the extremities of opinion could, unchecked, create a self-perpetuating cycle of challenges. A cycle which must be broken for the benefit of educators and schools, and indeed the long-term wellbeing of the nation. Teachers and would-be teachers would all benefit from a more stable and steady environment and not one buffeted between the extremes of the body politic.

Whilst Yeats, with his admirable insight and formidable intellect, couldn’t have foreseen our current troubles, and had a very different divided nation in mind when he was writing The Second Coming, the last refrain of the first paragraph is remarkably apposite in highlighting what holds back meaningful progress – in education and the nation at large:

“The best lack all conviction, while the worst

Are full of passionate intensity.”

*Pupil-Teacher Ratio is defined by combining number of Full Time Equivalent (FTE) teacher numbers from the November School Workforce Census with the FTE pupil numbers from the following January School Census.  

 

 

The gaps and challenges in the SEND Landscape

In our fourth issue of the newly-minted TSP briefing, Editor-at-Large Edward Farrow speaks with Daisy Christodoulou, Director of Education at No More Marking and former Head of Assessment at Ark Schools in a wide-ranging discussion about the gaps – and challenges – in assessment along with her view on the broader SEND landscape.

 
Read more

Daring to make mistakes

Stuart Curry, Head of Marketing at Real Group, wanted to share some thoughts – partly prompted by a news story about what is possible, and also by a hazy recollection of a quote from a GCSE history class some (many) years ago. In challenging times, do we take a belt-and-braces, safety-first approach, or do we see the opportunity hidden in the myriad pressures?

 
 
Read more

Can OFSTED be a SENCO’s Best Friend?

This issue is a piece by renowned SEND influencer, Brian Lamb OBE. Past experience may cause many educators to throw their hands up in horror at the sentiment, but read to see how – and why – Brian thinks SENCOs can use this framework to their – and most importantly their students’ benefit.

Read more

Plus…

DfE funding now available for NPQ training

Following a meeting with the Department for Education (DfE), we wanted to make it public that the DfE funding for NPQ courses is once again available.

READ MORE

 

Looking for a National Award in SEN Coordination course? Look no further….

If you are planning on getting one of your team trained as a SENCO – or training yourself – we are now taking registrations for our January intake for our acclaimed National Award in SEN Coordination programme.

FIND OUT MORE

 

International Award in SEN Coordination

We have taken the best of the UK award, augmented it and then changed the rest to make the course agnostic to location or geography, and also have a greater focus on issues that matter to leaders in international schools, like third culture kids, and the intersection of local and scholastic language in students with EAL. 

READ MORE

Get in touch

If you have any questions, or there is anything that you want to say…

Email the editor

 

In this issue…

ABOUT STUART CURRY

Stuart joined Real Group in 2016 as the Head of Marketing. Prior to joining Real Group, Stuart worked in marketing, journalism and commercial development across a range of organisations. With a long-standing passion for education and inclusion, he is also an occasional contributor to the TSP Briefing
 
 
 

Editorial

Having attended a number of teaching conferences recently, both in the UK and overseas, a conversation I’ve had many times with school leaders is about the challenges they face in recruiting new teaching staff. And nowhere does this seem more acute than in the UK. In this post Stuart will explore some of the contributing factors – and what would need to change to turn the tide and make teaching the attractive proposition it once was for the brightest and best.

I hope you enjoy the piece and that you will share it with your colleagues.

As always, please contact us if you have any thoughts on what topics you would like to see covered, or what we can do to improve the TSP Briefing further.

Kind regards,

Stuart Curry

Real Group

In this issue…

“Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold” WB Yeats, The Second Coming

 

The findings from the Department for Education’s (DfE) most recent School Workforce Statistics Report were as troubling as they were unsurprising to anyone with even the most tenuous knowledge of what faces schools and colleges in these most uncertain of times.

From 2011 to 2015, the number of full time equivalent (FTE) teachers in England steadily grew, broadly – if not precisely – mirroring the growth of schools’ student population. Overall, the pupil-teacher ratio* fluctuated between a low of 17.1 and 17.2 in the first four years of that period, with a slight uptick to 17.4 in 2015. In isolation, and without context, 2015 could have been seen as a statistical anomaly. However, the last two years’ data suggested it was less an outlier and more a sign of things to come. The subsequent two years saw increases to 17.6 and then 17.9 – the most current data available (2017).

Things downstream look no better. Whilst for the past three years the percentage of teachers leaving the profession (temporarily or permanently) has been stable at 9.9% (though this in itself is an historic high), the proportion of entrants to the teaching workforce has shown a sharp decline. From 2011 to 2014, significantly more teachers joined the profession than left – something critical in maintaining manageable pupil-teacher ratios in a growing populous – 2017 saw an exact replacement rate. One need not be a statistics guru to appreciate that more students and the same number of teachers isn’t business as usual, but a real-world shrinking of the workforce.

So what is at the heart of this issue? And, perhaps more importantly, what can be done to turn the tide?

Ask any teacher and you will get a number of reasons for the recruitment crisis, from low morale, ever-increasing paperwork, growing class sizes, the fact that wages have not kept pace with inflation, challenges with budgets…. The list is considerable, and each and every one of them is entirely valid. It would take a politician of an especially Panglossian disposition to challenge the veracity of these issues. To their partial credit, the issue of an untenable workload has been acknowledged (if far from resolved) by this government, starting with 2014’s workload challenge and most recently in a joint open letter sent in November to school leaders from a group including Damien Hinds and Amanda Spielman.  

But…. Whilst the facts of this reality are not in question (at least not by this writer), it fails to explain the issue at hand as these are mostly challenges for those already in the profession. And, as an aside, it speaks of the remarkable stoicism and unwavering dedication of teachers across the country that the proportion of those leaving the profession hasn’t changed significantly. The problem with filling the bath is not that the plug is out, but that the taps are faulty.

So where have the next generation of teachers gone? In times past, it’s a well-worn truism that in times of economic troubles, people turn to teaching as a stable career and when the nation’s economy is in growth, the profession finds recruiting more challenging. Following 2008’s crisis the UK finds itself in an odd position – growth, of sorts, but the popular sentiment doesn’t match the figures.

We must ask what makes a career attractive to a graduate, and consider some areas where teaching currently misses the mark. First and foremost, I believe, career-minded graduates are now seeking some degree of stability and certainty – something historically which would have led them to teach.

As a body politic and a nation, stability and certainty are two things most notable by their absence. From a government ruling only with the support of an intransigent partner and an ever-changing cast in and around 10 Downing Street (since 2014 we’ve had four iterations of government, two Prime Ministers and four Secretaries of State for Education) the corridors of power have rarely been more congested. And this doesn’t take into account November’s wholesale changes and broader political turmoil, the ultimate impacts of which are, at time of writing, not fully known.

This, however, isn’t a local difficulty but touches at the very heart of the education profession, and its ability to attract the best and brightest. With new governments and new Secretaries of State come often sweeping changes to policy. And, from the outside, it is easy to wonder what on earth is going on. Additionally, Her Majesty’s Opposition have – not unreasonably from their perspective – recently stated, via Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner at the Labour Party Conference, that they will turn back the tide of academisation of schools if they win at the next election. Whatever you think of that specific policy is in this instance immaterial – all it speaks of to the eager graduate is a political landscape, and therefore a state education sector, in a state of constant flux. Young people seeking to build a career do not wish to join a sector not knowing what tomorrow, let alone a decade later, may bring. The stability – perceived or real – that a career in teaching once offered is now markedly less apparent. 

When we add to this unappetising mix the impacts of Brexit and the understandable reluctance of EU teachers to move to the UK, regardless of supposed assurances, it is not hard to see why recruitment numbers are low and continuing to drop from the EU. And this sense of not being welcome is having a similar depressive effect on migration from all parts of the globe.

A combination of increasingly fractious politics leading to a push-me-pull-you to the extremities of opinion could, unchecked, create a self-perpetuating cycle of challenges. A cycle which must be broken for the benefit of educators and schools, and indeed the long-term wellbeing of the nation. Teachers and would-be teachers would all benefit from a more stable and steady environment and not one buffeted between the extremes of the body politic.

Whilst Yeats, with his admirable insight and formidable intellect, couldn’t have foreseen our current troubles, and had a very different divided nation in mind when he was writing The Second Coming, the last refrain of the first paragraph is remarkably apposite in highlighting what holds back meaningful progress – in education and the nation at large:

“The best lack all conviction, while the worst

Are full of passionate intensity.”

*Pupil-Teacher Ratio is defined by combining number of Full Time Equivalent (FTE) teacher numbers from the November School Workforce Census with the FTE pupil numbers from the following January School Census.  

 

 

The gaps and challenges in the SEND Landscape

In our fourth issue of the newly-minted TSP briefing, Editor-at-Large Edward Farrow speaks with Daisy Christodoulou, Director of Education at No More Marking and former Head of Assessment at Ark Schools in a wide-ranging discussion about the gaps – and challenges – in assessment along with her view on the broader SEND landscape.

 
Read more

Daring to make mistakes

Stuart Curry, Head of Marketing at Real Group, wanted to share some thoughts – partly prompted by a news story about what is possible, and also by a hazy recollection of a quote from a GCSE history class some (many) years ago. In challenging times, do we take a belt-and-braces, safety-first approach, or do we see the opportunity hidden in the myriad pressures?

 
 
Read more

Can OFSTED be a SENCO’s Best Friend?

This issue is a piece by renowned SEND influencer, Brian Lamb OBE. Past experience may cause many educators to throw their hands up in horror at the sentiment, but read to see how – and why – Brian thinks SENCOs can use this framework to their – and most importantly their students’ benefit.

Read more

Plus…

DfE funding now available for NPQ training

Following a meeting with the Department for Education (DfE), we wanted to make it public that the DfE funding for NPQ courses is once again available.

READ MORE

 

Looking for a National Award in SEN Coordination course? Look no further….

If you are planning on getting one of your team trained as a SENCO – or training yourself – we are now taking registrations for our January intake for our acclaimed National Award in SEN Coordination programme.

FIND OUT MORE

 

International Award in SEN Coordination

We have taken the best of the UK award, augmented it and then changed the rest to make the course agnostic to location or geography, and also have a greater focus on issues that matter to leaders in international schools, like third culture kids, and the intersection of local and scholastic language in students with EAL. 

READ MORE

Get in touch

If you have any questions, or there is anything that you want to say…

Email the editor

 

In this issue…

ABOUT STUART CURRY

Stuart joined Real Group in 2016 as the Head of Marketing. Prior to joining Real Group, Stuart worked in marketing, journalism and commercial development across a range of organisations. With a long-standing passion for education and inclusion, he is also an occasional contributor to the TSP Briefing
 
 
 

Editorial

Having attended a number of teaching conferences recently, both in the UK and overseas, a conversation I’ve had many times with school leaders is about the challenges they face in recruiting new teaching staff. And nowhere does this seem more acute than in the UK. In this post Stuart will explore some of the contributing factors – and what would need to change to turn the tide and make teaching the attractive proposition it once was for the brightest and best.

I hope you enjoy the piece and that you will share it with your colleagues.

As always, please contact us if you have any thoughts on what topics you would like to see covered, or what we can do to improve the TSP Briefing further.

Kind regards,

Stuart Curry

Real Group

In this issue…

“Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold” WB Yeats, The Second Coming

 

The findings from the Department for Education’s (DfE) most recent School Workforce Statistics Report were as troubling as they were unsurprising to anyone with even the most tenuous knowledge of what faces schools and colleges in these most uncertain of times.

From 2011 to 2015, the number of full time equivalent (FTE) teachers in England steadily grew, broadly – if not precisely – mirroring the growth of schools’ student population. Overall, the pupil-teacher ratio* fluctuated between a low of 17.1 and 17.2 in the first four years of that period, with a slight uptick to 17.4 in 2015. In isolation, and without context, 2015 could have been seen as a statistical anomaly. However, the last two years’ data suggested it was less an outlier and more a sign of things to come. The subsequent two years saw increases to 17.6 and then 17.9 – the most current data available (2017).

Things downstream look no better. Whilst for the past three years the percentage of teachers leaving the profession (temporarily or permanently) has been stable at 9.9% (though this in itself is an historic high), the proportion of entrants to the teaching workforce has shown a sharp decline. From 2011 to 2014, significantly more teachers joined the profession than left – something critical in maintaining manageable pupil-teacher ratios in a growing populous – 2017 saw an exact replacement rate. One need not be a statistics guru to appreciate that more students and the same number of teachers isn’t business as usual, but a real-world shrinking of the workforce.

So what is at the heart of this issue? And, perhaps more importantly, what can be done to turn the tide?

Ask any teacher and you will get a number of reasons for the recruitment crisis, from low morale, ever-increasing paperwork, growing class sizes, the fact that wages have not kept pace with inflation, challenges with budgets…. The list is considerable, and each and every one of them is entirely valid. It would take a politician of an especially Panglossian disposition to challenge the veracity of these issues. To their partial credit, the issue of an untenable workload has been acknowledged (if far from resolved) by this government, starting with 2014’s workload challenge and most recently in a joint open letter sent in November to school leaders from a group including Damien Hinds and Amanda Spielman.  

But…. Whilst the facts of this reality are not in question (at least not by this writer), it fails to explain the issue at hand as these are mostly challenges for those already in the profession. And, as an aside, it speaks of the remarkable stoicism and unwavering dedication of teachers across the country that the proportion of those leaving the profession hasn’t changed significantly. The problem with filling the bath is not that the plug is out, but that the taps are faulty.

So where have the next generation of teachers gone? In times past, it’s a well-worn truism that in times of economic troubles, people turn to teaching as a stable career and when the nation’s economy is in growth, the profession finds recruiting more challenging. Following 2008’s crisis the UK finds itself in an odd position – growth, of sorts, but the popular sentiment doesn’t match the figures.

We must ask what makes a career attractive to a graduate, and consider some areas where teaching currently misses the mark. First and foremost, I believe, career-minded graduates are now seeking some degree of stability and certainty – something historically which would have led them to teach.

As a body politic and a nation, stability and certainty are two things most notable by their absence. From a government ruling only with the support of an intransigent partner and an ever-changing cast in and around 10 Downing Street (since 2014 we’ve had four iterations of government, two Prime Ministers and four Secretaries of State for Education) the corridors of power have rarely been more congested. And this doesn’t take into account November’s wholesale changes and broader political turmoil, the ultimate impacts of which are, at time of writing, not fully known.

This, however, isn’t a local difficulty but touches at the very heart of the education profession, and its ability to attract the best and brightest. With new governments and new Secretaries of State come often sweeping changes to policy. And, from the outside, it is easy to wonder what on earth is going on. Additionally, Her Majesty’s Opposition have – not unreasonably from their perspective – recently stated, via Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner at the Labour Party Conference, that they will turn back the tide of academisation of schools if they win at the next election. Whatever you think of that specific policy is in this instance immaterial – all it speaks of to the eager graduate is a political landscape, and therefore a state education sector, in a state of constant flux. Young people seeking to build a career do not wish to join a sector not knowing what tomorrow, let alone a decade later, may bring. The stability – perceived or real – that a career in teaching once offered is now markedly less apparent. 

When we add to this unappetising mix the impacts of Brexit and the understandable reluctance of EU teachers to move to the UK, regardless of supposed assurances, it is not hard to see why recruitment numbers are low and continuing to drop from the EU. And this sense of not being welcome is having a similar depressive effect on migration from all parts of the globe.

A combination of increasingly fractious politics leading to a push-me-pull-you to the extremities of opinion could, unchecked, create a self-perpetuating cycle of challenges. A cycle which must be broken for the benefit of educators and schools, and indeed the long-term wellbeing of the nation. Teachers and would-be teachers would all benefit from a more stable and steady environment and not one buffeted between the extremes of the body politic.

Whilst Yeats, with his admirable insight and formidable intellect, couldn’t have foreseen our current troubles, and had a very different divided nation in mind when he was writing The Second Coming, the last refrain of the first paragraph is remarkably apposite in highlighting what holds back meaningful progress – in education and the nation at large:

“The best lack all conviction, while the worst

Are full of passionate intensity.”

*Pupil-Teacher Ratio is defined by combining number of Full Time Equivalent (FTE) teacher numbers from the November School Workforce Census with the FTE pupil numbers from the following January School Census.  

 

 

The gaps and challenges in the SEND Landscape

In our fourth issue of the newly-minted TSP briefing, Editor-at-Large Edward Farrow speaks with Daisy Christodoulou, Director of Education at No More Marking and former Head of Assessment at Ark Schools in a wide-ranging discussion about the gaps – and challenges – in assessment along with her view on the broader SEND landscape.

 
Read more

Daring to make mistakes

Stuart Curry, Head of Marketing at Real Group, wanted to share some thoughts – partly prompted by a news story about what is possible, and also by a hazy recollection of a quote from a GCSE history class some (many) years ago. In challenging times, do we take a belt-and-braces, safety-first approach, or do we see the opportunity hidden in the myriad pressures?

 
 
Read more

Can OFSTED be a SENCO’s Best Friend?

This issue is a piece by renowned SEND influencer, Brian Lamb OBE. Past experience may cause many educators to throw their hands up in horror at the sentiment, but read to see how – and why – Brian thinks SENCOs can use this framework to their – and most importantly their students’ benefit.

Read more

Plus…

DfE funding now available for NPQ training

Following a meeting with the Department for Education (DfE), we wanted to make it public that the DfE funding for NPQ courses is once again available.

READ MORE

 

Looking for a National Award in SEN Coordination course? Look no further….

If you are planning on getting one of your team trained as a SENCO – or training yourself – we are now taking registrations for our January intake for our acclaimed National Award in SEN Coordination programme.

FIND OUT MORE

 

International Award in SEN Coordination

We have taken the best of the UK award, augmented it and then changed the rest to make the course agnostic to location or geography, and also have a greater focus on issues that matter to leaders in international schools, like third culture kids, and the intersection of local and scholastic language in students with EAL. 

READ MORE

Get in touch

If you have any questions, or there is anything that you want to say…

Email the editor

 

In this issue…

ABOUT STUART CURRY

Stuart joined Real Group in 2016 as the Head of Marketing. Prior to joining Real Group, Stuart worked in marketing, journalism and commercial development across a range of organisations. With a long-standing passion for education and inclusion, he is also an occasional contributor to the TSP Briefing
 
 
 

Editorial

Having attended a number of teaching conferences recently, both in the UK and overseas, a conversation I’ve had many times with school leaders is about the challenges they face in recruiting new teaching staff. And nowhere does this seem more acute than in the UK. In this post Stuart will explore some of the contributing factors – and what would need to change to turn the tide and make teaching the attractive proposition it once was for the brightest and best.

I hope you enjoy the piece and that you will share it with your colleagues.

As always, please contact us if you have any thoughts on what topics you would like to see covered, or what we can do to improve the TSP Briefing further.

Kind regards,

Stuart Curry

Real Group

In this issue…

“Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold” WB Yeats, The Second Coming

 

The findings from the Department for Education’s (DfE) most recent School Workforce Statistics Report were as troubling as they were unsurprising to anyone with even the most tenuous knowledge of what faces schools and colleges in these most uncertain of times.

From 2011 to 2015, the number of full time equivalent (FTE) teachers in England steadily grew, broadly – if not precisely – mirroring the growth of schools’ student population. Overall, the pupil-teacher ratio* fluctuated between a low of 17.1 and 17.2 in the first four years of that period, with a slight uptick to 17.4 in 2015. In isolation, and without context, 2015 could have been seen as a statistical anomaly. However, the last two years’ data suggested it was less an outlier and more a sign of things to come. The subsequent two years saw increases to 17.6 and then 17.9 – the most current data available (2017).

Things downstream look no better. Whilst for the past three years the percentage of teachers leaving the profession (temporarily or permanently) has been stable at 9.9% (though this in itself is an historic high), the proportion of entrants to the teaching workforce has shown a sharp decline. From 2011 to 2014, significantly more teachers joined the profession than left – something critical in maintaining manageable pupil-teacher ratios in a growing populous – 2017 saw an exact replacement rate. One need not be a statistics guru to appreciate that more students and the same number of teachers isn’t business as usual, but a real-world shrinking of the workforce.

So what is at the heart of this issue? And, perhaps more importantly, what can be done to turn the tide?

Ask any teacher and you will get a number of reasons for the recruitment crisis, from low morale, ever-increasing paperwork, growing class sizes, the fact that wages have not kept pace with inflation, challenges with budgets…. The list is considerable, and each and every one of them is entirely valid. It would take a politician of an especially Panglossian disposition to challenge the veracity of these issues. To their partial credit, the issue of an untenable workload has been acknowledged (if far from resolved) by this government, starting with 2014’s workload challenge and most recently in a joint open letter sent in November to school leaders from a group including Damien Hinds and Amanda Spielman.  

But…. Whilst the facts of this reality are not in question (at least not by this writer), it fails to explain the issue at hand as these are mostly challenges for those already in the profession. And, as an aside, it speaks of the remarkable stoicism and unwavering dedication of teachers across the country that the proportion of those leaving the profession hasn’t changed significantly. The problem with filling the bath is not that the plug is out, but that the taps are faulty.

So where have the next generation of teachers gone? In times past, it’s a well-worn truism that in times of economic troubles, people turn to teaching as a stable career and when the nation’s economy is in growth, the profession finds recruiting more challenging. Following 2008’s crisis the UK finds itself in an odd position – growth, of sorts, but the popular sentiment doesn’t match the figures.

We must ask what makes a career attractive to a graduate, and consider some areas where teaching currently misses the mark. First and foremost, I believe, career-minded graduates are now seeking some degree of stability and certainty – something historically which would have led them to teach.

As a body politic and a nation, stability and certainty are two things most notable by their absence. From a government ruling only with the support of an intransigent partner and an ever-changing cast in and around 10 Downing Street (since 2014 we’ve had four iterations of government, two Prime Ministers and four Secretaries of State for Education) the corridors of power have rarely been more congested. And this doesn’t take into account November’s wholesale changes and broader political turmoil, the ultimate impacts of which are, at time of writing, not fully known.

This, however, isn’t a local difficulty but touches at the very heart of the education profession, and its ability to attract the best and brightest. With new governments and new Secretaries of State come often sweeping changes to policy. And, from the outside, it is easy to wonder what on earth is going on. Additionally, Her Majesty’s Opposition have – not unreasonably from their perspective – recently stated, via Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner at the Labour Party Conference, that they will turn back the tide of academisation of schools if they win at the next election. Whatever you think of that specific policy is in this instance immaterial – all it speaks of to the eager graduate is a political landscape, and therefore a state education sector, in a state of constant flux. Young people seeking to build a career do not wish to join a sector not knowing what tomorrow, let alone a decade later, may bring. The stability – perceived or real – that a career in teaching once offered is now markedly less apparent. 

When we add to this unappetising mix the impacts of Brexit and the understandable reluctance of EU teachers to move to the UK, regardless of supposed assurances, it is not hard to see why recruitment numbers are low and continuing to drop from the EU. And this sense of not being welcome is having a similar depressive effect on migration from all parts of the globe.

A combination of increasingly fractious politics leading to a push-me-pull-you to the extremities of opinion could, unchecked, create a self-perpetuating cycle of challenges. A cycle which must be broken for the benefit of educators and schools, and indeed the long-term wellbeing of the nation. Teachers and would-be teachers would all benefit from a more stable and steady environment and not one buffeted between the extremes of the body politic.

Whilst Yeats, with his admirable insight and formidable intellect, couldn’t have foreseen our current troubles, and had a very different divided nation in mind when he was writing The Second Coming, the last refrain of the first paragraph is remarkably apposite in highlighting what holds back meaningful progress – in education and the nation at large:

“The best lack all conviction, while the worst

Are full of passionate intensity.”

*Pupil-Teacher Ratio is defined by combining number of Full Time Equivalent (FTE) teacher numbers from the November School Workforce Census with the FTE pupil numbers from the following January School Census.  

 

 

The gaps and challenges in the SEND Landscape

In our fourth issue of the newly-minted TSP briefing, Editor-at-Large Edward Farrow speaks with Daisy Christodoulou, Director of Education at No More Marking and former Head of Assessment at Ark Schools in a wide-ranging discussion about the gaps – and challenges – in assessment along with her view on the broader SEND landscape.

 
Read more

Daring to make mistakes

Stuart Curry, Head of Marketing at Real Group, wanted to share some thoughts – partly prompted by a news story about what is possible, and also by a hazy recollection of a quote from a GCSE history class some (many) years ago. In challenging times, do we take a belt-and-braces, safety-first approach, or do we see the opportunity hidden in the myriad pressures?

 
 
Read more

Can OFSTED be a SENCO’s Best Friend?

This issue is a piece by renowned SEND influencer, Brian Lamb OBE. Past experience may cause many educators to throw their hands up in horror at the sentiment, but read to see how – and why – Brian thinks SENCOs can use this framework to their – and most importantly their students’ benefit.

Read more

Plus…

DfE funding now available for NPQ training

Following a meeting with the Department for Education (DfE), we wanted to make it public that the DfE funding for NPQ courses is once again available.

READ MORE

 

Looking for a National Award in SEN Coordination course? Look no further….

If you are planning on getting one of your team trained as a SENCO – or training yourself – we are now taking registrations for our January intake for our acclaimed National Award in SEN Coordination programme.

FIND OUT MORE

 

International Award in SEN Coordination

We have taken the best of the UK award, augmented it and then changed the rest to make the course agnostic to location or geography, and also have a greater focus on issues that matter to leaders in international schools, like third culture kids, and the intersection of local and scholastic language in students with EAL. 

READ MORE

Get in touch

If you have any questions, or there is anything that you want to say…

Email the editor

 

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