79 per cent of school leaders are facing recruitment problems, research suggests

The NAHT recruitment survey warns of a growing recruitment problem in schools, with 52 per cent of respondents stating the main reason for shortages was a lack of applications.

The survey was completed by 2,135 school leaders in October and November 2015. It highlights particular problems in filling posts with a teaching and learning responsibility payment (TLR) and Special Educational Needs Coordinators (SENCOs), with only 14 per cent of vacancies being filled with ease.

33 per cent reported a growing problem with teachers leaving the profession in their area, up from 15 per cent last year. School leaders in London and the South East also reported recruitment difficulties due to high housing and living costs, with 63 per cent of respondents from inner London citing this as an issue.

Russell Hobby, general secretary of NAHT, will present these findings to MPs as part of his response to the Education Select Committee’s session on the supply of teachers.

Hobby said: “Schools rightly have autonomy over HR practices, but we should be able to expect the government to supply the basics for them to work within – funding, buildings and, of course, enough high quality people. The Education Committee today asks whether there is a crisis in the recruitment of teachers and school leaders; our evidence clearly shows that there is.

“The volume of criticism deployed by successive governments is a serious deterrent to recruitment and retention, and the jump in the number of those reporting teachers leaving the profession is a concern. Teachers need to believe they can and do make a difference. It is possible to be both proud of past achievements and ambitious for more: governments need to develop a better way of engaging with the profession for improvement.”

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