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DATA REVEALS SURGE IN TEACHERS WHO CAN’T AFFORD TO PAY INTO THEIR PENSION

 

The number of teachers opting out of the Teachers’ Pension Scheme (TPS) because they cannot afford to continue contributing has risen by more than two-thirds over the last year, new data has shown*.

 

Figures from the Department for Education, analysed by specialist financial services mutual Wesleyan, revealed that 9,199 teachers across the UK left their pension scheme for personal financial reasons between April 2022 and March 2023 – a 77% increase on the same period in the previous 12 months.

 

Opt-outs because of affordability accounted for nearly three-quarters (72%) of all cases of teachers leaving the TPS between April 2022 and March 2023 (9,199 out of a total 12,824), up from 64% the year before (5,193 out of a total of 8,106).  

 

The findings come as separate research from Wesleyan revealed that two in five teachers expect their financial situation to deteriorate in the coming 12 months**.

 

Linda Wallace Director of Wesleyan Financial Services said: “These stark findings could indicate the makings of a retirement income crisis within the teaching profession, if teachers are leaving their pension scheme without plans for – or the ability to – keep saving towards their future.

 

“While circumstances may mean that more and more teachers simply can’t afford to keep contributing, leaving the TPS should be a last resort if there any choice. The pension scheme is an extremely valuable benefit.

 

“It has the major advantage of being index-linked, which helps protect it from future increases in the cost of living and guarantees retirement income that is directly linked to a teacher’s salary. Any pension alternative that teachers might look to replace it with is likely to be far less generous.

 

“We’re urging anyone who is thinking about potentially leaving the TPS, or re-thinking their retirement plans, to first seek professional advice.”

Flying the flag for British higher education

By Iain Sloan, senior solutions consultant at Ellucian

In education, as the well-known saying goes, change is the only constant. I’ve been working in the higher education sector for two decades and this has never been more apparent than in the last few years.   

Uncertainty continues to reign in international student recruitment, for example, with the combined impact of shifting government policy and increasing global competition at risk of reducing the UK’s draw as a destination of choice for higher education.

The challenge is that a fall in international student fees income would come at a time when the sector is already carrying considerable losses from the shift of learning online during the pandemic. The fees from international students could be key to helping many universities fill this financial void.

Department heads and instructors in our universities are becoming increasingly concerned that less diversity could have a negative impact on the world-class education that has historically attracted overseas students to our shores too.

So, what can higher education institutions across the UK do to help them remain an attractive destination for international students?

A positive experience from the start

Institution that are globally renowned for managing UK visas and documentation such as the Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) efficiently will be an appealing prospect for overseas students. One way to achieve this is to automate as much of the admissions process as possible.

Automation drives efficiency and saves time for international student recruitment teams, speeding up the whole process and improving the student experience. Putting key information such as student details, workflows and the status of required documentation into the hands of staff and allowing this data to be shared easily and securely can make a real difference.

Rather than searching for the information they need, staff have more time to focus on helping students and responding to enquiries. This human touch can go a long way towards pushing a university further up the rankings to become the first choice for a student wanting to study in the UK.

A holistic approach to education

All students rightly expect the quality of education being delivered in our universities to be world-class, and the UK has always been right up there among the best. But in these challenging times, institutions are doing more to ensure students’ needs re met.

Everyday costs for accommodation and household bills are considerably higher than they have been in the past, for example, and the vast majority of students who come from overseas are not eligible for the same levels of government support as their UK-based peers. 

With budgets being squeezed there will be fewer opportunities for overseas students to interact socially with their peers too, which could dilute the whole experience of studying abroad for some.

There is also the ongoing investment universities are making to strengthen the student wellbeing and support services they provide in response to growing demand.  

Those universities that continue to recruit from overseas will need to consider what additional spending commitments they need to factor into their short and long-term budget planning to address students’ economic, social and emotional needs.

As the cost of living drives more UK students into cheaper accommodation further away, or the relatively inexpensive option of remaining in the family home, the ability to continue to attract and retain overseas students could, to some extent, provide a counterbalance to these spending commitments.

Firm financial foundations

The higher education sector may need to invest more, and work much harder, to attract the best students and keep them engaged from the beginning of their studies through to graduation. 

Putting the financial foundations in place for success is vital to maintain the UK’s reputation as a world-leader in delivering a quality higher education experience for students from across the globe.

Iain Sloan is a senior solutions consultant at Ellucian. He was formerly student systems development manager at Oxford Brookes University.

Findings explore impact of technology on social-emotional learning, the future role of educators, and student preferences

 

(Blackburn, 19th May 2023) Promethean, a leading global education technology company, has released its seventh annual State of Technology in Education report. The survey of UK educators and, for the first time, pupils, offers insights into the use of technology in schools and its impact on the well-being factors that make up the staff and student experience.

 

According to the research, educators believe social-emotional learning (SEL) has become less of a priority in schools – with 6% fewer respondents saying it’s a key part of their school’s strategy compared to last year’s report. However, most are largely confident in technology’s ability to support SEL (57%), noting how it improves student engagement (71%) and strengthens collaborative or community-based learning (69%). However, the findings showed that almost a third (29%) of schools are yet to implement any SEL-dedicated measures at all.

 

The report also shed light on the benefits technology provides to educators, with improved student engagement (71%) and behaviour (63%), and its ability to support experiential and immersive learning (67%), cited as the key plus points. Many pointed to the advantage that more novel edtech innovations, like AI, provide to schools, with 98% saying they welcome these types of technology.

 

Revealing insights into pupils’ approaches to technology for the first time, the report found that students are resoundingly confident in the technology and its benefits, with 88% saying they enjoy using it in class. Reasons range from helping them connect with peers (83%), making topics more interesting (83%), helping them to focus (83%), and helping them to better understand different subjects (92%). Of the technologies available to students, tablets (59%) outweigh smartphones (30%) in terms of preference. Meanwhile, robotics and coding (25%), and virtual and augmented reality (17%) are growing in popularity, but the results show that many young people are yet to feel entirely confident in their use.

 

“After the turbulence of 2020 and 2021, educators had an opportunity to rebuild a consistent and structured school experience without the risk of sudden closure,” said Jennifer Foreman, chief marketing officer at Promethean. “As part of our seventh annual report, we wanted to see how educators redefined learning, taking forward what had worked well when it came to the use of technology during the lockdown era, and how pupils have responded to that.

 

“What we’ve learnt is that both educators and their pupils are embracing technology – not only how it supports lessons, but also interactivity between peers and students’ emotional needs. Educators are becoming more adept at selecting technologies that complement the curriculum and as a result, digital learning is becoming much more fluid. While there is always room for improvement, it’s clear that technology continues to add value to the learning experience and support student achievement, and we anticipate next year’s findings will continue to support that theory.”

 

Promethean’s UK State of Technology in Education report can be downloaded at prometheanworld.com/gb/stateoftech.

 

 

New Subject Development Resources launched by NASBTT for trainees and Early Career Teachers

A new suite of Subject Development Resources, including an on-demand bank of engaging videos, curated supporting resources and information and live sessions on key topics, has been launched by the National Association of School-Based Teacher Trainers (NASBTT).

 

These high-quality resources, which will be hosted on NASBTT’s dedicated Trainee and Early Career Teacher Hub, will be fully available to subscribing teacher training providers, trainees/ECTs and their mentors from September.

 

An evolution of their successful predecessor, NASBTT Networks Live, every curriculum area across primary and secondary will have five pre-recorded subject development sessions, led by experts from subject associations or institutions.

 

The sessions will focus on the following five areas, all taken from the Core Content Framework:

 

  • An introduction to the Subject.
  • Adaptive Teaching.
  • Anticipating Common Misconceptions in the Subject Area.
  • Memory and Metacognition.
  • Ongoing Subject Knowledge Development and Self-Efficacy.

 

By having this consistency across each subject area, trainees and ECTs will start to understand what some of the key concepts and principles of effective teaching and learning look like but through the lens of a subject, giving them a vital understanding of the nuances and specific knowledge often only built through experience and time.

 

“We originally introduced the NASBTT Networks Live project in the middle of the pandemic when, overnight, ITT providers were having to find a way of supporting trainee teachers to complete their training without the ability to be in school or centre-based training,” said James Coleman, Head of Operations and Training at NASBTT.

 

“The live sessions, hosted by subject experts, took place at 4pm each afternoon and would regularly have upwards of 500 trainees attending each session, which surpassed our expectations. As time moved on, and schools returned to more traditional timetables, trainees had less availability at that time and we have seen a gradual but significant move towards synchronous engagement. This has been coupled with provider curriculums being adapted and prioritising integration with the Core Content Framework.

 

“With these issues in mind, the new project is now a complete suite of Subject Development Resources for trainee teachers that are all linked back directly to the Core Content Framework. They are available to both trainees/ECTs and mentors, allowing the provider the ability to upskill and inform mentors of the key research and theory that trainees are engaging with. There is also the ability for the provider to use three 30-minute videos to support their subject delivery, either by directing trainees to engage with the material ahead of sessions, or by building videos into taught sessions at the centre. It is an exciting development, one we are really proud of.”

 

With a calendar of live sessions already planned covering Embedding Formative Assessment, Behaviour, SEND, Wellbeing, Phonics, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion – Creating Safe and Inclusive Classrooms and Introduction to Primary Foundation Subjects, delivered by the likes of Dylan William and Sue Cowley, feedback from providers and trainees has been overwhelmingly positive. “We have certainly seen how the NNLs complement and work alongside our SCITT provision and are looking forward to using the new Subject Development Resources,” said Fareham & Gosport Primary SCITT Director Clare Jeffrey.

 

“The on-demand recordings will support trainees’ personalised development at pertinent times for them during the year, and allow them to be more flexible with planning and managing their learning and workload. The NASBTT approach to focusing on key areas through the lens of a subject area mirrors our own curriculum design, so this will help to strengthen the trainees’ continuing development over the year. It is fantastic that trainees have the opportunity to attend live sessions from expert colleagues as part of the NNLs, and we are really pleased to see that these will continue as part of the Subject Development Resources.”

 

Clare highlighted how NASBTT’s provision has impacted on Fareham & Gosport Primary SCITT trainees to date. “We first introduced the NNLs to trainees when they were launched at the height of the pandemic and when they were unable to join us face-to-face for their taught curriculum sessions,” she recalled. “We signposted them on our SCITT weekly newsletter as an optional learning and development opportunity and quickly observed evidence of our trainees engagement with them. As part of our curriculum, we have a session focusing on subject development early on in the programme. We include an introduction and outline of the NNLs in this session and link it to our input on effective professional development and the personalised approaches trainees that will take to develop their own knowledge, understanding, skills and application. Our trainees have the opportunity to plan for the year ahead, incorporating the NNLs into their map. Over time, trainees have developed different ways in which they engage with the NNLs. Initially, lots attended the live sessions but more recently, more and more trainees are accessing recordings at a time when it will be most informative and helpful in their training year, making it a highly personalised approach.”

 

She added: “Since making the NNLs available to our trainees, we have seen clear evidence in their assessments, that they are engaging with and applying their learning from them to develop their own practice.”

 

On 13th June (9.30-11am), NASBTT is offering its members a Subject Development Resources taster session. Click here to register for this free online event, which will be delivered via Zoom.

 

INTERACTIVE INVESTOR IS ON A MISSION TO FIND BRITAIN’S BEST MONEY TEACHERS – WITH A £25,000 PRIZE POT FOR WINNING SCHOOLS

  • To nominate a teacher, email teacher@ii.co.uk by 11 September
  • Teachers can nominate themselves: email teacher@ii.co.uk with lesson plan and supporting statement by 29 September
  • New category in 2023 to also celebrate Teaching Assistants

 

Interactive investor, the UK’s second largest investment platform for private investors, is once again on a mission to find Britain’s best money teachers for its Personal Finance Teacher of the Year Awards 2023. Awards are open to teachers in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

 

This is one of the most prestigious awards to recognise creative money education, with a prize of £25,000 to be shared among the winning teachers’ schools across the UK.

 

Covering both primary and secondary schools, past winners have come from a diverse range of schools, including special educational needs schools. This is something ii is keen to point out, given young people with SEND are more at risk from escalating online financial scams, according to Young Enterprise.

 

This year interactive investor is also supporting entries for a new category to honour the most inspirational support teacher/teaching assistant who has gone above and beyond to support pupils to become more confident in money management skills, perhaps to cement maths concepts. 

 

The challenge of encouraging confidence in mathematics was highlighted by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s announcement that pupils in England should study maths up to the age of 18 to better equip them for the modern workplace.

 

Whether learning Pythagoras up to 18 is useful for more than just engineers or budding snooker players is up for debate.  interactive investor believes that real world money skills to help the next generation build financial resilience could be far more appealing. And with a continuing cost-of-living crisis affecting so many families, learning to manage money and handle a budget is a vitally important skill young people will need.

Richard Wilson, Chief Executive, interactive investor says: “In a world of buy now pay later, increasingly sophisticated scams, and where young people are more aware of cryptocurrency than any other investment*, good money skills are essential.

“Young people are navigating a far more complex set of financial rules than their parents and grandparents ever did, but while the provision of money lessons in schools remains patchy, there is some fantastic work being done. Please help us find the best money teachers of 2023.

“We want to recognise the amazing, but all too often uncelebrated, contributions that our teachers and support staff make to help young people go out into the world with an understanding of how to manage their money.”

 

How to enter

 

To nominate a teacher or teaching assistant, parents, carers, or pupils should email teacher@ii.co.uk with the teacher’s name along with the name and address of the school, by 11 September 2023. We will then approach the teacher and ask them to submit their lesson plan and brief supporting statement by 29 September 2023.

 

Topics might include budgeting, investment, cash savings, interest rates, credit, and much more, from reception right the way up to sixth form.

 

Teachers can also nominate themselves, by emailing teacher@ii.co.uk with a lesson plan and supporting statement by 29 September 2023. Teaching assistants are also asked to submit evidence of how they have helped communicate money concepts to pupils, and they may also share lesson plans.

 

Personal finance is still a relatively small part of curriculums across the UK, but the skills taught are vital. Through this award, ii is on the lookout for teachers who are designing lessons with imagination and skill.

 

Cost-of-living takes teachers back to school

Simon Rake, head of education at the Wesleyan Financial Services, the specialist financial services firm for teachers, discusses new data about how the cost-of-living crisis is impacting teachers and shares practical advice for managing your money.

 

Increased costs are affecting us all. For teachers, who’s pay increases have trailed behind inflation for years, the cost-of-living crisis is even more difficult.

 

Costly energy bills, increasing mortgage rates and expensive weekly food shops are all putting pressure on already stretched pay packets.

 

Taking action

 

New research from Wesleyan Financial Services has revealed that many teachers are planning on taking action to help manage their finances through this challenging time – with some surprising results.

 

While most teachers are already committing far and above their contracted hours, one in 12 teachers said they planned to increase their working hours because of rising prices. Putting additional pressure on themselves to work even harder, for even longer.

 

A further one in ten (8%) said they would take on more hours in their role to help boost their income.

 

But perhaps most surprisingly, one in six teachers said they would delay their retirement to help them through the cost-of-living crisis.

 

As we hear from some teachers that they expect their financial situation to get worse in the next twelve months, here are tips to help teachers manage their finances.

 

Put proper plans in place

 

When money is tight it can feel tempting to bury your head in the sand, but this only kicks problems into the long grass, where they can build into more complex issues.

 

Start by looking at your expenditure and assessing what income you need to cover those costs. Then, if you can, make cuts to non-essential spending such as magazine subscriptions.

 

For those struggling with day-to-day living costs this can feel like it won’t make much of a difference, but even small savings can quickly add up.

 

Once this is complete, and you’ve done a true audit of what you’ve got coming in and going out, you can start to plan for your financial future. This might include paying off a mortgage, saving for special event or putting more money away for grandchildren. Once you’ve planned what you want to achieve you can cost up your goals and start saving for them.

 

Cancelling policies like income protection might save a few pounds in the short term, it could leave you exposed should you find yourself needing to claim on it.

 

 

Remember the three Rs – retirement, retirement, retirement

 

Planning solely for short goals is not enough, there also needs to be long-term financial planning for retirement and having the pension pot in place to grant the retirement lifestyle you wish for.

 

Typically saving for long-term goals takes the longest amount of time and requires the most dedicated course of action – saving over years for the benefit of your future self.

 

With rising costs, it can be tempting to put these long-term goals on the back burner. I would advise against this and with the latest budget announcements the correct retirement planning is essential, making the most of using your TPS pension as part of your long-term savings goals.

 

 

If you’re one of the teachers who is thinking about delaying retirement, seek professional financial advice around this decision – and the implications, first.

 

Recognise the power of small savings

 

Einstein said that compound interest is the eight wonder of the world, and he may have been under playing it.

 

When it comes to savings, having money locked away, earning even modest interest, can made a huge difference to its value over the long-term.

Even if you’re only able to save small amounts of money irregularly, ensuring you are saving in an account that is earning the best interest rates will ensure that it maintains its spending power over the long-term.

What’s more taking advantage of tax efficient tax-wrappers like ISAs can protect any saving growth from tax liabilities.

 

Make the most of investments

Investing your money in a varied managed fund with exposure to assets likes stocks and shares in the market, rather than fixed rate savings accounts also creates a better chance of outstripping inflation. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Products like With Profits Stocks and Shares ISAs give you access to a managed fund, led by experts who make the day-to-day decisions on which companies and assets your money is invested in.

Over time, money in the market tends to perform better than that kept in savings accounts, and can also outpace inflation, meaning your money doesn’t lose its spending power.

Of course, market volatility is a risk and there is a chance that that your investment may go down in value, but you can vary how much risk you’re prepared to take with your money.

Get financial advice

 

What’s for certain is that, at a time when the cost-of-living is continuing to put pressure on pay packets, teachers will find there are challenges in balancing their books.

Getting support from financial advisors that understand the unique challenges teachers face can be a huge difference. Whether you’re starting out or getting ready to retire, speaking to someone who understands your financial position, and how to best maximise it for your enjoyment is the best way forward.

 

For more information visit [https://www.wesleyan.co.uk/teachers].

David Chapman, Head of school, Aston University Engineering Academy explores a more learner centred approach to classroom observations

Why it’s time to rethink lesson observations

 

Teaching is a challenging profession. A recent You Gov poll found 45% of teachers surveyed would discourage others from entering the profession, whilst over half would opt out given the choice of career again. 

 

Termly lesson observations can add to the pressure many teachers already feel under, with even the most experienced of staff feeling a sense of nervous dread when it’s their ‘turn’ under the microscope.

 

And can a traditional observation ever make a difference to the quality of teaching practice if they only provide a brief snapshot?

 

We wanted to rethink how we could incorporate lesson observations into school life that wouldn’t leave our teachers feeling unsupported or over scrutinised.

 

A new perspective

 

Lesson observations don’t need to be stressful, once-a-term formal events. As lesson observations usually happen infrequently the feedback can also be more intense. This can leave teachers feeling overloaded with a list of things to change all at once.

 

We’ve found giving our teachers the opportunity to frequently self-reflect on their teaching practice has helped observations take on a more practical application, as teachers can address issues in the here and now.

 

To make it easier for them to conduct regular, informal reviews of how their lesson went we use ONVU Learning video technology to capture lessons. Staff can choose to review the footage either by themselves or with a colleague and assess whether any adjustments can be made to improve the lesson.

 

This approach has helped shift the dial in how lesson observations are perceived in the school. Teachers feel more comfortable sharing their strengths and seeking advice from their peers who understand the demands and challenges they are all facing in classroom within a local context. 

 

One of our teachers for example, was struggling to manage a group of Year 10 boys, but after watching a playback of the classroom footage with a colleague, took on board some of their suggested tweaks about the order of play for the lesson and things improved.

 

Switching the focus

 

We also felt switching the focus away from teaching practice and orientating it towards pupil learning behaviours instead could positively impact on pupil outcomes. But it’s not always easy for teachers to do this when they are standing in front of a class of 30 pupils with different learning styles and ability.

 

So, to help them unpick what’s working in class and for whom, we encourage them to watch out for ‘small tells,’ like a students’ body language to see how if the lesson is pitched too high or too low, or if a pupil nearby is an inadvertent influence.

 

By making students the primary focus of the observation teachers can find it easier to fine tune their lesson to ensure all pupils are learning effectively. The shift in focus also helps teachers to take more ownership over the decisions they take in the classroom. As a result, they feel more valued and respected and more willing to share not only their strengths, but also what they’ve discovered has helped improve their teaching practice. 

 

LACK OF CREATIVE OPPORTUNITIES IN SCHOOLS IS IMPACTING STUDENT MORALE, SAY HALF OF TEACHERS

 

  • Almost a quarter (24%) of students’ enjoyment of secondary school is being negatively affected as they are unable to develop their creative skills.
  • 18% believe this is also impacting students’ mental health.
  • More than 1 in 10 think it is damaging the culture within schools.

Around half of secondary school teachers in England have warned that students’ morale and wellbeing will suffer if they don’t have opportunities to learn creative skills as part of their education.

This is just one finding from a survey of 4,000 secondary school teachers that has been published in a new report, Democratising Design: How To Deliver A Creative Education When Budgets Are Tight from Serif, whose Affinity creative software is used in education and workplaces.

Almost a quarter (24 per cent) of teachers believe students’ enjoyment of secondary school is being negatively affected as they are unable to develop their creative skills, while 18 per cent say this is also impacting students’ mental health and 14 per cent believe it’s damaging the culture within schools.

It comes after pressures on creative subjects have been mounting in recent years due to a combination of tighter budgets and a greater focus on STEM subjects.

Ofqual data reveals the number of students taking arts subjects at GCSE dropped between 2021 and 2022 – with entries for Design & Technology down by 5 per cent and Arts & Design falling by 1.8 per cent.

Paul Carney, an art consultant for schools and a contributor to the report, believes the loss of creative skills in schools could have wider implications. He said:

“Recent education policies have prioritised building knowledge to the detriment of teaching creativity – but we need to learn creative processes too.

“Creativity encompasses many things – it is about knowledge, but it’s also about invention and imagination; play and experimentation; problem solving and the freedom to be spontaneous. When it’s neglected in schools, there are repercussions not just for individuals but for society as a whole.”

Almost 1 in 10 secondary teachers surveyed by Serif said a lack of creative skills for students will have negative effects on the diversity and success of creative industries.

Si Beales, who set up Future Skills Club (FSC), which aims to build vital life skills like creativity and collaboration for young people – believes that creativity needs to be encouraged both inside and outside the classroom.

He said: “Creativity is about being curious, challenging, and disruptive. It’s impossible to teach when it’s regulated, conformist and uniform. It should be about questioning stuff, believing that everything can be improved and actively seeking out and solving problems – students need to have the freedom to think creatively in this way both inside and outside the classroom.”

Commenting on the survey findings, Ashley Hewson, CEO at Serif, said:

“When creative subjects are eroded from the timetable or scrapped completely at GCSE, the impact is felt by all students. This was clear from our survey of 4,000 secondary school teachers who raise concerns about students’ enjoyment of school and mental health. But there are reasons to be optimistic.

“Through our software and support for creative initiatives around the country , we have seen first-hand the exceptional standard of work students can produce when they are given the freedom and support to explore their creativity. Through collaboration and with the right partnerships and access to affordable resources, teachers can empower students  to develop their creative skills.”

Download your free copy of Democratising Design: How To Deliver A Creative Education When Budgets Are Tight here; https://affinity.serif.com/en-gb/education/democratising-design/

 

“Every possible avenue to recruiting trainees being explored” – ITT barriers to recruitment and delivery survey published

New research undertaken by the National Association of School-Based Teacher Trainers (NASBTT) has highlighted the breadth of recruitment tactics being adopted by school-based Initial Teacher Training (ITT) providers as they seek to attract more recent graduates and career changers to the profession.

 

Despite the survey confirming the challenges around ITT recruitment, with 77% of respondents reporting that trainee applications are down at this stage of the year compared to last year, NASBTT members have said that those who are applying are doing so for career prospects (27%), changing jobs (17%) and working locally (10%).

 

When asked what else DfE should do to address the recruitment crisis, 17% of respondents called for an increase in wider hardship support during training, 16% for an increase in bursaries/scholarships, and 8.5% for an increase in starting salaries. Starting salary was not selected as a reason by any of the 70 respondents as to why trainee applications are down, or a reason given to providers by trainees who have applied.

 

However, it is the range of recruitment tactics cited by NASBTT members that is arguably the most practically useful insight from the survey completed in March and April 2023. From targeting internal candidates in schools (especially Teaching Assistants and existing cover/support staff) and former students, to sponsorship of a local football team, contacting the armed forces and town centre or roadside advertising for additional visibility, ITT providers are exploring every possible approach to recruitment.

 

Other free-text responses, summarised below, are:

 

  • Events: Get into Teaching, Train to Teach, Teaching School Hub, local recruitment fairs, open days, drop-in events, virtual meetings, one-to-one advice sessions.
  • Social media: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, TikTok.
  • Direct marketing: posters, leaflets, banners, flyers, e-shots.
  • Advertising: Google ads, job boards, school newsletter, ParentMail, other school comms.
  • PR: articles in local/regional media.
  • Visiting partnership schools/universities to speak to undergraduate students on education/child development courses.
  • Experience or taster days.
  • Word-of-mouth advocacy.

 

In a further key finding, 43% of respondents reported that school placements are down at this stage of the year compared to last year, with the majority (36.5%) have decreased by 20-30%. A further 30% said that placements are down by 10-20% and 16.5% by 30-40% from 2022.

 

“Our latest member survey underlines the hugely challenging picture that ITT providers are facing around trainee applications this year,” said NASBTT Executive Director Emma Hollis. “As we know, this is a national issue and is a cause for concern for providers of any size, but it is to the credit of the ITT sector as a whole that every possible avenue to recruit trainees is being explored. The sector’s resilience never ceases to amaze me. It is too early to say what the impact of continuing lower recruitment will be, but clearly those in power are aware of the issues as demonstrated by the Education Select Committee inquiry into Teacher Recruitment, Training and Retention that NASBTT responded to last month.”

 

Emma explained that the impact of the Early Career Framework (ECF) on capacity in schools, and in particular on mentoring capacity, was a significant contributory factor. “This has led to unintended consequences of some schools preferring not to employ Early Career Teachers (ECTs) as they cannot meet the additional capacity needed to support them,” she commented. “Even more significantly, however, we are increasingly hearing of schools withdrawing from offering ITT placements due to the capacity issues created by mentoring and ECTs. Our survey, which shows that nearly half of respondents are experiencing issues with placements at this stage of the year compared to last year, backs this up.”

 

This could lead to a placement crisis for ITT providers, Emma stressed, which “must be considered very seriously and addressed before it creates an even greater crisis” in the ITT sector. “We have given this message before, but should placement opportunities not be readily available on their doorstep, the requirement to travel will become a further barrier to entry from applicants who are unable or unwilling to travel significant distances for their training and could further adversely affect teacher supply,” she said. “To mitigate this, we suggest that DfE may wish to consider hardship funding for all trainees to apply for help with costs. This could be managed through providers under existing grant funding agreements. DfE has allocated relocation funding for overseas trainees so it feels reasonable to also earmark funding for domestic students who are struggling to pay travel costs.”

 

Emma added: “Teaching is a unique profession. It is incomparable with any other sector in terms of workload (in and out of the ‘workplace’ and outside of core hours) and scrutiny (from Ofsted, governors and parents/carers). At the heart of the issue is how the profession is presented (mainly negatively) in the media, through DfE marketing campaigns (counter productive), combined with the fact ‘everyone knows a teacher’ and perceptions often reflect that. Government needs to lead the charge for making teaching an attractive profession for both recent graduates and experienced professionals once again. We should emphasise (and evidence) that employment opportunities are extremely high for qualifying teachers, which is an important message not least in the current economic climate.”

 

Overall, the majority of NASBTT member respondents (28%) said that trainee applications are down by 10-20% followed by 30-40% (26%), 20-30% (22%), 40%+ (18.5%) and 0-10% (5.5%). When asked why they thought applications are down, underlying issues cited included the cost-of-living crisis (22%) and perceptions of the profession (15%).

 

Education workers feel the most stress of all workers and often feel a sense of dread at work

  • 93% Education workers experience stress at least once a month
  • 83% Education workers feel a sense of dread about work at least once a month
  • Fear of being overwhelmed by expectations to take on more job roles is a key driver of dread for over one third of Education workers (55%)
  • Managers negatively affect Education worked mental health through their lack of understanding of life outside work (47%), followed by lack of respect of working hours (44%) and setting an unsustainable workload (41%)
  • For those who have experienced stress within the past 12 months, 43% of construction workers would class their stress as ‘extreme stress’, meaning they experience stress every day 

 

Education employees feel emotionally impacted at work mostly by economic uncertainty 

  • 46% of Education workers feel that economic uncertainty is one of the top global trends impacting their emotional health at work, followed by inequities towards marginalised communities (43%)
  • A third (33%) of Education workers feel that Political uncertainty and Covid-19 (29%) are two of the top global trends impacting their emotional health at work 
  • Many employees are still feeling unsettled due to instability and constant change following the pandemic and this is continuing to get worse with 30% of construction workers feeling worse than they did last year  

 

What is most interesting, is that in terms of mental health support, Education workers would mostly value in-person, virtual, or app-based talk therapy (46%) and with this, they want to speak to behavioural health coaches, therapists or psychiatrists who share their life experience (45%,) and they want the support to be available quickly (44%).

 

Russell Glass, CEO at Headspace states: “Workplace mental health continues to be a top three business priority, with employees and CEOs experiencing frequent levels of stress due to market uncertainty and growing workplace pressures. In response, companies must not only ensure they have robust mental health and wellbeing programs in place, but that their leaders are tending to their own mental health, fostering open conversations with their teams, and helping to reduce stigma in the workplace.”

Earlier this year, Headspace launched International Care as part of its employer offering. The solution is designed with an emphasis on preventative care, guaranteeing employers and their staff  24/7 access to dedicated mental health professionals in under two minutes.

The in-app platform provides employees with 1000+ hours of on-demand meditation and mindfulness exercises, access to text-based behavioural health coaching within 2 minutes, counselling (in-person, telephone and video) and EAP services (which covers issues ranging from eldercare and childcare to financial and legal support), all of which are scalable depending on the needs of the individual, and are regularly assessed by qualified Headspace Care Coordinators. 

 

For many, the entry to mental healthcare through the Headspace app acts as a soft introduction to coaching and therapy which may previously not have been considered. Companies can also experience significant financial benefit by using this stepped-care approach which can help to mitigate mental issues before they arise, resulting in less absence and a happier and healthier workforce.