Vacancies within schools have reached their highest levels within the last four years. Teachers are in their highest demand post pandemic, and they are struggling to keep up.
New research data from the universities of Nottingham and Oxford looks at school leaders’ work, well-being, and career intentions. The research involves headteacher unions, NAHT and ASCL as well as data and surveys with Teacher Tapp and TeachVac about teacher vacancies.
The University of Nottingham and Oxford report looks at how teachers have coped throughout the pandemic and the long-term impact this could have on teacher retention. A survey by Teacher Tapp quoted that just over 2 in 5 teachers had been ‘mostly surviving’ while 3 in 10 had been ‘sometimes’ or ‘mostly’ sinking. It was apparent that workloads were overbearing due to the pandemic and staff wellbeing was being hard hit. The survey queried how the pandemic had impacted career plans and resulting teacher vacancies. 30% of headteachers and 16% of senior leaders are planning to leave education for reasons other than retirement.
The findings question whether England’s education system was ill-equipped for dealing with the pandemic and the challenges it created. Research leaders suggest shorter- and longer-term changes to be made to address the implications found in the report. The changes suggested involved directing more funding towards schools and trust leaders with a focus on schools in disadvantaged contexts. More consideration should be put on school leadership support and development. Longer term, the report suggests that decision making should be shared across all levels, utilising an approach that favours professional expertise and understands the need to approach differing contextual needs.
Teachers are desperately requiring additional support in all aspects of their career. Wellbeing and mental health are key factors in declining teacher retention, therefore support needs to take priority within the workplace with policies in place for supporting development. Once vacancies are filled, this support must continue into their career. If you would like to read this research further, please click here.
If you, as a school or Trust, require help with recruitment and teacher retention, contact us for more information or book a demo to see how FACE-Ed could help streamline your recruitment processes and enable you to ensure you get the right person. You may also be interested in our wellbeing services to support existing staff, have a look at our sister company FusionHR’s website or our SAM software which helps track wellbeing checks and absence trends.