A new national strategy has been announced by the government to boost teacher recruitment and improve retention of teachers once they are in the profession.
The initiative aims to support teachers throughout their careers, reducing the profession's drop-out rate in the first few years while retaining more experienced teachers in the education sector for longer.
Both are problem areas for the profession, as leading figures from teaching unions point out.
Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said: "Teachers are the lifeblood of our schools but far too many currently leave the profession too early in their careers."
And Paul Whiteman, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, said: "Teaching is a hugely rewarding career, but the first few years can often be challenging."
Both welcomed the Early Career Framework and its promise of extra support for those who are new to the profession, helping to make sure that teachers and pupils alike are able to flourish in the classroom.
What is the Early Career Framework?
The overall strategy surrounding the Early Career Framework outlines several ways to support the 450,000-strong teaching workforce while boosting teacher recruitment by a further 30,000 people per year and improving outcomes for pupils:
- £130 million per year extra funding for two years of introductory training and support for newly qualified teachers and a lighter workload for those new to the profession.
- Financial incentives to retain talented teachers in the profession, with staggered additional bursary payments throughout the early years in the job.
- More access to real-world classroom work experience and easier ways to apply for teaching roles including a possible 'one-stop shop' application system.
- Help to relieve teachers of the admin burden, manage their workloads better, and account for workload when determining Ofsted ratings.
- More opportunities for career progression, including flexible working and job share schemes, plus incentives to work in challenging schools and to gain specialist qualifications.
Education Secretary Damian Hinds said: "In a competitive graduate labour market we must continue to ensure that teaching is an attractive profession so we can train and retain the next generation of inspirational teachers."
At MAT Recruitment we wholeheartedly agree with this sentiment and, whatever benefits the Early Career Framework for teachers may bring, we will continue to support candidates to find the best role for them and in turn provide schools with dedicated and hardworking team members.