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NAHT EDGE calls for key challenges to be addressed

The union is calling for practical and prompt solutions for schools from the Education Bill

Posted by Hannah Oakman | June 03, 2015 | Teaching

Today MPs will debate the education section of the Queen’s Speech.

NAHT Edge, the union that speaks for middle leaders in schools, wants to see some key challenges addressed.

NAHT Edge Chief Executive Louis Coiffait said: “We hope this debate leads to some practical and prompt solutions for schools on three of their biggest challenges; the recruitment, retention and development of staff. 

“We're facing a serious recruitment challenge. Data from more than 1,100 school leaders collected at the start of this academic year, shows that right across the country there is a growing issue with recruiting teachers at all levels, as well as deputy and assistant heads. Nearly 62 per cent of those surveyed said they were struggling to recruit teachers on the upper pay scale; 14 per cent said they had failed to recruit deputy heads and 20 per cent said they had failed to recruit assistant head teachers.

“The government must focus attention and resources now on the quantity and quality of new joiners to the teaching profession. Retention remains an ongoing struggle in many places with around one in five teachers leaving the profession in the first five years.

“We also know that experienced middle leaders are the hardest posts to fill, with many schools having to re-advertise then withdraw roles. Pay is part of the answer but we need to think more holistically. Another issue is professional development. Not enough is happening in schools and when it does it’s often of variable quality.

“It’s no surprise that too few people fancy stepping up to leadership roles. We hear too much criticism of the teaching profession. We need more positive role models and stories, showing the satisfaction that can come with having the right impact on a greater number of students and colleagues. We need to limit some of the risk involved with taking on these jobs.”

NAHT Edge is a new type of professional association and union membership which is part of the biggest union of school leaders, NAHT. It focuses on helping teachers to be better managers and leaders through high quality professional development, as well as providing the excellent trade union services you’d expect from NAHT.

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