For the fifth year in a row, training targets for teaching have been missed, as reported last month by the BBC*. With a clear lack in the recruitment of permanent trainee teachers, schools are at the centre of the funding issue, accumulating expenses of around £835m per year through the recruiting of supply teachers. However, schools have raised their concerns at this level of expense, in addition to the disruption caused by relying on temporary staff. Teachers and graduates are favouring jobs in different industries where they are paid a higher salary for their qualification, especially those with Maths and Science degrees, which is where the short fall in schools is most prevalent. The Education Secretary, Damian Hinds, has pledged to prioritise the staff recruitment problem across the sector, but what can really be done about this crisis?
Whilst it has been urged for there to be targeted salary supplements for roles in subjects with shortages, Geoff Barton, leader of the ASCL head teachers’ union spoke out on how it would mean some teachers would be paid less than their colleagues, despite having almost identical workloads. Instead he suggested that the recent public sector pay rise should be given to all teachers. What’s clear from this, aside from the shortage of teachers, is the lack of subject qualified teachers; for example as little as half of GCSE Maths teachers have a Maths or Science degree.
Though this is becoming a continual problem for schools, there are ways to mitigate this. Firstly, where school leaders have increased pressures to meet teacher recruitment targets, re-evaluating approaches to recruitment and retention can shed some light on where improvements can be made. Research from Affinity Workforce shows that 69% of schools and MATs admit to lacking in the data and insight required to recruit and manage staff; this includes employee performance, expenditure on supply teachers and leadership pipeline. However, technology-driven recruitment models can bridge this gap for institutions.
With integrated HR systems in place, schools and MATs can track and review the above elements with ease. Functionality within systems, such as PS Financials’ PS People module for HR, enables the self-service of data which automatically integrates across all your organisation’s systems, minimising data entry mistakes and improves time-effectiveness. Additionally, recruitment can be directly managed by monitoring the progress and visibility of open positions; the system automatically uploads these positions to your website enabling prospective employees to apply in a straightforward manner. Retention of staff can also be improved through the logging and management of training and CPD in the system which can be used to identify areas for future improvement and enhance your workforce’s skills.
To learn how a centralised and integrated HR system can help your Academy or MAT with the teacher recruitment crisis, visit www.psfinancials.com/solutions/ps-people