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New UK teacher recruitment service launched amidst teacher shortage issues

A new teacher vacancy website has been launched by the UK government. Source: Matthew Henry/Burst

It was recently announced that the UK’s Government-run teacher recruitment website for schools has been officially launched, weeks later than initially planned.

According to the Department for Education, “The Education Secretary is calling on all schools in England to use a free service to advertise teaching vacancies – and invest the millions spent every year on recruitment back into teaching.”

The website, called ‘Teaching Vacancies’ is already live. At the time of writing, there were a total of 1,509 jobs listed. More than 8,000 schools in the UK have reportedly already signed up, a total of 38 percent.

The aim is to reduce schools’ spending large amounts on advertising available roles which costs, on average, over £1,000 pounds per advertisement at some agencies.

Education Secretary Damien Hinds said, “Teachers are the beating heart of our education system and school leaders want to make sure they recruit the best to inspire students. But finding the best has become very expensive.

“With every school in the country now having access to this completely free site, I am calling on schools to ditch platforms that charge a fee. Why spend £1,000 on a service you can get for free?”

Schools can list all available positions on the website, whether job-share, part-time, or full-time, and is free of charge for them to use.

Stuart Lock, Executive Principal at Advantage Schools in Bedford, told SchoolsWeek that he was “delighted” with the service.

He said, “Far too much money – typically up to £20,000 per school – has been paid to private companies to advertise teaching posts. This is money that we can now spend on the pupils in our schools.”

The recruitment website has been in the works since June last year, starting as a pilot programme in Cambridgeshire and Northeast England.

It is part of an overall government strategy to aid teacher recruitment and retention at a time where teacher shortages are becoming a serious issue in the country.

According to Fortune, “Some young teachers leave the profession quickly after becoming overworked and burning out. Of teachers who started in 2012, a third were no longer teaching in 2017.

“Teacher shortages have become a serious problem in England, where the number of secondary school students is expected to rise by 15% by 2025 and teacher recruitment has consistently fallen short.”

The upcoming no-deal Brexit is also affecting teachers from the UK who want to work in England, due to concerns over forthcoming shortages and language learning opportunities.

The Guardianreported, “Teachers from EU countries applying for the right to work in English schools fell by a quarter in a single year, according to official data. The fall comes after repeated warnings of a staffing shortage. Last summer the Education Policy Institute said that teaching shortages would become severe, with bigger classes and falling expertise as a result.”

Teacher shortages are a big problem in the UK. Source: Shutterstock

Last month, it was also reported that Hinds said that more teachers from BAME (black, Asian, and minority ethic) backgrounds are needed to address teacher shortage, and that the lack of representation of them within the school sector is a problem.

Speaking at the Oasis ‘Break the Cycle’ event, he said, “The problem I’ve got is we need more of them. Although we have almost the highest number of teachers in this country that we’ve ever had, we also have rising pupil numbers and pupil numbers about the rise in secondary school. And so the demand for teachers is outstripping supply.

“And although the number of teachers and heads from minority ethnic backgrounds is certainly going up, that is from rather a low base. It’s lower, for example, than it is in the National Health Service, and we need to see more of them being represented in leadership positions.”

Hopefully, government initiatives like this new website will help to improve teacher recruitment in the country and tackle the issues that are causing shortages, which include the impending impact Brexit will bring.

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