‘Teaching crisis’ in Redbridge schools
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Redbridge has a teaching crisis and schools are not able to retain staff, a union representative has said.
The problem is particularly bad at primary schools and with “core subjects” at secondary schools, Kash Malik of Redbridge National Union of Teachers (NUT) told the Recorder.
He said the ugly truth of the matter is that teaching is not seen as an attractive option and lots of people in the profession feel trapped.
“You see the amount of pressure, the workload and the uncertainty of progression and you think ‘Nah not for me’,” he said.
“You see great staff members who have been there for four years and not progress and you don’t want that for yourself.
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“If you have good A-levels and a good degree, why would you take the risk of becoming a teacher.”
He said he has seen an increase in the number of teachers leaving the profession after a couple of years and said even the government announcement of a pay increase for teachers is only “better than a poke in the eye”.
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Education Secretary Damian Hinds has confirmed an investment of £508 million to fully fund the increase which means the average pay packet for classroom teachers will rise by up to 3.5 per cent.
He said there are no great schools without great teachers and he wants to recruit and retain brilliant educators
“This will mean that teaching continues to be a competitively rewarded career, and I will continue to work with the profession, Ofsted and the unions on issues like excessive workload, professional development and flexible working, to make sure teaching remains an attractive, fulfilling profession,” he said.
“Schools will continue to determine how their staff are paid but the increases above will be funded by government with a new teachers’ pay grant – worth £187million in 2018/19 and £321m in 2019/20 from the existing Department for Education budget – paid to all schools on top of their core budgets from the National Funding Formula.” Mr Malik said the offer is a “bit of a joke”.
“They have taken money away for the last seven or eight years and now they are giving some - well its better than a kick in the teeth,” he said.
“I am not saying it is too little too late but I am not going to say thank you.”
A Redbridge Council spokeswoman said schools across the country are having to deal with teacher shortages.
“The problem of recruitment and retention of teachers is a national issue and we will continue to do all we can in the borough to address this,” she said.
“However, the up-to-date information that we have indicates that Redbridge schools have been largely able to fill their current vacancies.
“Additionally, the government announced an increase in teachers’ pay, this can be regarded as a very positive step towards improving the overall situation.”