Education system on collision course with teacher shortage

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The teacher shortage in the UK is already here and is only going to get worse, an education recruitment agency has warned ministers.

The London Teaching Pool (TLTP Education) said the widespread problem in the capital, and other cities like Birmingham and Manchester, is down to the growing burden of red tape and bureaucracy in the industry, and the deteriorating behaviour in the classroom.

The agency says that the withdrawl of government funding last summer for ‘Return to Work’ courses, the restrictions surrounding UK visa requirements, and the dramatic increase in UK births, have put the sector on an 'inevitable collision course'.

The ‘Return to Work’ courses were designed as short refresher courses for former teachers who had taken career breaks, either to raise families or spend time in industry, with access back into work.

The agency says that many teachers from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Canada, who had previously made contributions to the UK education system, are facing difficulties when obtaining the relevant work visas.

Teachers from the USA, who are now given teacher qualified status in the UK, are finding it difficult to gain a visa to work here, and unsurprisingly, many more are being deterred by unfavourable exchange rates and a high cost of living.

There has also been a steady growth in the number of teachers leaving the profession altogether.

According to the agency, the growing burden of red tape and bureaucracy that teachers experience in the UK and their inceasing role as managers and administrators, is making many disillusioned.

A second reason was due to the deteriotating behaviour of the student body, said the agency. Teachers work extremely hard only to be repaid with aggressive and threatening behaviour at worst, but quite routinely with disrespectful and challenging attitudes, making classroom life far less rewarding than in previous times.

School Leadership Today
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