A shortage of instructors, paired with a surge in population that is reaching school age, has UK schools in a state of near crisis. Shortages of certain specialty instructors, like maths and physics, have become so acute that schools are resorting to having teachers from other departments cover the courses. Recruitment of teachers is an issue that must be addressed, both in terms of specialty teachers and to meet the increasing demands of a larger student population.
Many schools are not stressing the importance of teachers’ continued professional development. CPD is a necessity in many professions, but perhaps in few is it as vital as in education. Instructors need to not only brush up on their skills, but also to consider learning new skills. Standards for teachers may be rising, and if this is the case, established instructors should consider further education and development to meet these new standards.
The government is instituting a new baseline assessment test, which has not been received very positively by instructors. Whether or not the new test is a good development remains to be seen, but it’s indisputable that students need to be evaluated upon entering schools. If instructors are to prove that the official baseline assessment is truly disruptive, then schools need to address these types of evaluations in-house.
Despite the shortage of teachers and increased funding for training, and the fact that many teachers can effectively choose any school they’d like to work at, over half of all teachers are considering leaving the profession within the next two years. Why? Morale is low, due in large part to issues with work/life balance and the volume of their workload.
Administrators need to be focused on providing instructors with a ready ear and working with them to improve morale. Work/life balance needs to be prioritized, rather than minimized. Management needs to have a better system in place, also, for recognizing signs of stress and burnout in instructors, so that they can provide support.
According to a recent Ofsted report, technology curriculum is behind the times. With the average teacher aged 43 years, this may not be surprising. Tech and design classes in schools aren’t challenging children—the students are ahead of the instructors. There needs to be more course oversight by individuals familiar with current information technology.
Tags: schools, baseline assessment, technology curriculum