There are approximately half a million teachers in the UK (full-time equivalent) educating over 8 million students in around 25,000 schools. And yet we have a teacher shortage that has reached critical levels. The Education Select Committee recently published a report on the Recruitment and Retention of Teachers that sought to outline the situation more clearly in the hope of finding some solutions.
One of the issues identified by the report was the plurality of routes into the profession:
As the report makes clear, this diversity may be useful but it is also confusing. It also poses significant questions: are all these routes equally rigorous? Do these routes present a unified vision of the profession? Do we need a unified vision? Is it possible for Ofsted to quality assure the myriad of school direct courses? Should universities or schools take the lead? Is a truly equitable partnership between schools and universities possible? Perhaps most critically of all, we are compelled to ask: do we need these different routes?
This week I shall be uploading posts by different Labour Teachers explaining their routes into the classroom. These are teacher-recruitment success stories and plot a path from interest in the job to actually doing it. I hope they will help explain the strengths and weaknesses of the various paths into the profession.