Teacher recruitment crisis is impacting GCSE results, ASCL warns

The teacher recruitment crisis has become ‘so severe’ that it is impacting pupils’ performance at GCSE, according to the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL).

More than half of school leaders surveyed by the ASCL believed that teacher shortages were damaging pupils’ attainment at GCSE and 23 per cent said it was affecting performance at AS and A-level.

80 per cent of respondents said they believed the situation was worse or significantly worse than 12 months ago, with 73 per cent reporting that they have had to use supply teachers to fill vacancies and 71 per cent saying they have had to use non-specialists – those without a degree in the relevant subject – to teach classes.

Additionally, 58 per cent of school leaders have had to offer enhanced salaries or other financial incentives to recruit teachers, while 27 per cent are no longer able to provide courses in some subjects, such as design and technology, music and modern foreign languages.

The survey was conducted to provide evidence to the Migration Advisory Committee about the need to place teaching on the shortage occupation list and the ASCL is calling on the government to make it easier to recruit teachers from abroad by placing the teaching profession in general on the list, instead of specific subjects.

Malcolm Trobe, interim general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said: “Teaching shortages are widespread across many subjects and the situation is having a direct and detrimental impact on the education schools are able to provide to young people.

“School leaders and teachers are doing a fantastic job in extremely difficult circumstances and they do everything they can to mitigate the effect on pupils. Schools cannot however produce teachers out of thin air.

“Making it easier to recruit teachers from overseas will not solve the underlying problem, but it at least gives school leaders another option in dealing with the immediate crisis. The government must get to grips with tackling this issue and we would be very willing to work with them on developing a strategy.”

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