2019 Spring Term 2

The know zone

  • Policy refresh
    ASCL's newly appointed Pay and Conditions Specialist Louise Hatswell shares top tips on making sure that your pay and appraisal policies are up to scratch. More
  • Internal data
    Ofsted is consulting on its plans for a new inspection framework, due to commence in September 2019. As part of the draft proposals, the inspectorate is proposing not to look at schools' internal data. Here, Stephen Rollett explores the reasoning behind this proposal, why some leaders are concerned and what members might do in response. More
  • Social partnership
    Colleges across the UK currently educate and train around 2.7 million people and are calling for 'a new social partnership' with students, employers, unions and governments. Kevin Gilmartin examines how this partnership can enable us to become a successful, productive and lifelong learning society. More
  • Nature nurture
    ASCL Council Member Lilian Taylor-Bell is Headteacher of Leyland St James' (Aided) Primary in Lancashire, where much of the learning takes place outside the classroom. Here she shares her school's insights and talks about being on ASCL Council. More
  • Recruitment retention
    What are your thoughts on the government's Teacher Recruitment and Retention Strategy: Will it help to alleviate recruitment and retention pressures at your school or college? Does it go far enough? Here, ASCL members share their views... More
  • We're here for you
    Contacting the Hotline: ASCL members who are concerned about leadership issues should call 0116 299 1122 or email hotline@ascl.org.uk More
  • Tempus fugit
    Schools obviously operate in their own unique time zones. How else can you explain why the exam season comes around so quickly, why pupils grow facial hair seemingly overnight and why it suddenly takes longer for experienced teachers to climb the stairs? More
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What are your thoughts on the government’s Teacher Recruitment and Retention Strategy: Will it help to alleviate recruitment and retention pressures at your school or college? Does it go far enough? Here, ASCL members share their views...

Recruitment & retention

Take the lead

I strongly support the principles behind the government’s recent strategy and especially the new suggested Early Career Framework (ECF).

A serious move to strengthen and support more effectively the induction, training and development of all new entrants to the teaching profession has got to be right for several fundamental reasons.

It should be seen as part of an attempt to ‘professionalise’ further the teaching profession. As such, it seems quite right that the profession itself should take the lead on this and move it forward.

Given this, and in my role as President of The Chartered College of Teaching, I will seek to ensure that the College, as the developing professional body of the teaching profession, can take a clear and central role in taking forward this important agenda.

Stephen Munday
Executive Principal of Comberton Village College in Cambridge and Chief Executive of The Cam Academy Trust, and President of The Chartered College of Teaching

Listen to us

It is good to see that the DfE has finally realised the extent of the teacher shortage. However, it has been government intervention and continual legislative change in the past that have been major contributory factors behind fewer graduates wanting to become teachers and more qualified teachers leaving the profession within the first six years. It will be really important, therefore, that the DfE actually listens to the profession and implements measures that will work, rather than repeat its more accustomed tautological rationale.

Dr Chris Ingate
Principal, Birchwood High School, Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire

A positive step

The announcement of the two-year Early Career Framework from 2021 is a positive step in our support for beginner teachers. As we move the emphasis on monitoring performance to nourishing teacher development, this new strategy recognises that mentors are key.

Now schools can invest focus and resource through the new framework to build teacher agency – the ability to make confident judgements about what works in their classroom – rather than responding to received wisdom or perceived accountabilities.

The future of teacher retention depends upon empowering teachers, strengthening their confidence so that they can become happy and fulfilled professionals.

Margaret Mulholland
Director of Development and Research, Swiss Cottage School, London

The greatest profession

This strategy is long overdue. Whether it will have any impact we will have to wait and see. Those of us currently in teaching must do more to promote the noblest of professions and really celebrate the tremendous joy that many of us still get from doing the bread and butter of the job – that is teaching eager, enthusiastic children and young adults and really making a difference to future lives.

I only ever wanted to be a teacher – why? – because I was really well taught by fantastic teachers at my secondary school and sixth form college and I can honestly say that in almost 24 years in the job, I have never not wanted to go to work – a truly privileged position to be in. So, let’s celebrate and proclaim the greatest of professions and support the plan to improve teacher recruitment and retention, ensuring that future generations will have the very best women and men standing in front of them each day.

Andrew Parkin
Principal, St Dominic’s Sixth Form College, Harrow on the Hill, Middlesex

A major step forward

Part of the government’s strategy is the new Early Career Framework. For the first time, this sets out in some detail, and both with strong evidence underpinning and with practical examples of what it looks like in practice, the expertise that teachers need to meet the demands of the job and teach well.

The formula is simple but has been elusive: teachers who teach well because they are well prepared to do so see that their efforts directly lead to good gains in learning, better behaviour and wider growth in young people’s resilience and, thereby, derive higher levels of job satisfaction from their work. And it is above all job satisfaction, or the prospect of it, that attracts teachers to teaching and, once in, keeps them there. If we can implement the ECF well, then we will have achieved something remarkable.

Ian Bauckham CBE
CEO, Tenax Schools Trust, Kent