UK schools suffering as new teachers ‘flock abroad’, warns chief inspector
Lured by competitive salaries and a warmer climate, newly qualified teachers are heading to the Gulf, the far east and beyond, says Sir Michael Wilshaw
The staffing crisis in schools is being exacerbated by an exodus of newly qualified teachers who are “flocking abroad” to work in the rapidly growing international sector, including branches of England’s elite public schools, it has been claimed.
Sir Michael Wilshaw, who is the chief inspector of England’s schools, warns that the country is facing a “teacher brain drain” at a time when schools across the country are already struggling to fill vacancies amid rising pupil numbers.
Lured by enticing offers of competitive, tax-free salaries, free accommodation and a warmer climate, teachers are taking their hard-earned qualifications to the Gulf states, the far east and beyond, where there is growing demand for a “traditional” English education, says Wilshaw.
In turn, schools in England are increasingly having to look overseas to recruit their own staff – from countries as diverse as Jamaica, Canada, South Africa and Australia – in order to get sufficient teachers in front of classes.
In his regular monthly commentary as head of the schools watchdog, Ofsted, Wilshaw writes: “Anyone regularly perusing the job vacancy pages of the education press cannot help but notice just how many of our elite public schools are busy opening up international branches across the globe, especially in the Gulf states and the far east,” he says.
Sponge UK makes top 50 in Sunday Times Best Companies List
Elearning company Sponge UK has been named among the best places to work in the UK in a leading workplace study published by the Sunday Times.
Sponge UK at the awards ceremony
The award-winning learning provider was placed at 49 in the Sunday Times list of 100 Best Small Companies to Work, 2016.
The ranking is based on rigorous feedback surveys where staff are asked to rate their employer across a wide range of areas including pay, conditions, teamwork, leadership and wellbeing.
The Best Companies lists are the UK’s leading assessment of workplace engagement and have been conducted annually since 2001.
Sponge UK is the only elearning provider in the top 50 of best small companies this year.
Louise Pasterfield, Managing Director at Sponge UK, said: “This is the first time we have taken part in the Best Companies scheme so to go straight into the top 50 is something we are all very proud of. Helping our people to learn and grow is a central part of our mission statement at Sponge. It’s something we take very seriously as a learning organisation and we’re delighted our approach to personal development has been recognised as part of this award.”
Primary writing assessment date change causing ‘havoc’ with moderation
Late changes to the date for submitting teacher assessments of primary pupils’ writing is playing havoc with moderation planning, local authorities say.
Council officers, who arrange moderation visits to schools, told Schools Week they were still unclear on the process for this year.
Schools minister Nick Gibb confirmed the U-turn over the date of submission of teacher assessment data for year 6 writing last Friday. The date was originally set for the end of May, but after talks with the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) about the timeframe, the schools minister pushed back the deadline by four weeks.
The Department for Education (DfE) confirmed it would help any local authority struggling with moderation due to the change in date.
Schools Week understands this date – June 30 – was emailed to local authorities by the Standards and Testing Agency.
However, as Schools Week was going to press, the requirements set out by the government still said the deadline was May 27 in its online documentation.
Local authorities have a statutory duty to moderate the assessments. They must look at work from at least 15 per cent of a chosen school’s cohort (at least five pupils).
Private school pupils ‘receive equivalent of two years’ extra education’
Study finds private education boosts teenagers’ GCSEs by almost two-thirds of a grade per subject
Children who attend private schools benefit from the equivalent of two years’ extra education by the time they are 16, research suggests.
Academics from Durham University analysed differences in attainment between state and private school pupils, taking their prior attainment, family background and gender into account.
Private pupils were ahead of their state school counterparts at ages four, eight, 10 and 16, the study found.
How we’re helping to boost living standards
The ongoing crunch in living standards, the rollout of Universal Credit, rise in in-work poverty. All of these make providing better support to tackle low pay more essential. Cities and providers across the country are starting to rise to meet this key challenge of the 21st century. But there is so much more to do.
This week it was announced that Crossrail in London will be named the Elizabeth Line when it opens in 2018, in honour of the Queen. The high cost of public transport is one of the perennial bugbears of Londoners. But while this is unlikely to get better anytime soon, Learning & Work Institute’s flagship Ambition London programme aims to help low paid Londoners boost their incomes.
Some 700,000 Londoners are paid below the London Living Wage, many struggling to make ends meet. Low pay is more prevalent in sectors like retail and social care, which are the two we’re focusing on.
Over the next two years, we’ll be working with Local Authorities, colleges and training providers, and other partners to test new forms of training, coaching and other support aimed at creating better career ladders and helping low paid Londoners climb them.
So it was that this week we held the first meeting of our new Progression and Advancement Network (PAN), aimed at helping those delivering progression projects across the country to share best practice and discuss common challenges.
We heard from Working Links about the work they are doing in Plymouth to tailor language to engage employers worried about losing their best staff, talking about talent development rather than career progression. And we heard from Hounslow Council and Timewise about how letters from Local Authorities helped to engage in-work Housing Benefit claimants in accessing career development support.