Education Secretary Nicky Morgan has announced how she plans to tackle underachievement in schools by recruiting a pool of “elite teachers” into struggling schools.
The education secretary has said that there are 20 local authorities around the UK where most pupils do not achieve five good GCSE’s including English and Maths. Mrs Morgan claimed that “coastal towns and rural areas are the main areas struggling due to struggles in recruiting and retaining good teachers, meaning they lack the vital ingredient that makes for a successful education. Too many young people aren’t being given the chance to succeed because of where they live”. Because of this these Mrs Morgan is looking to target the costal and rural areas by bringing in these “elite teachers”. But where are these teachers going to come from in this recruitment crisis?
In a speech last Tuesday, Nicky announced details of the pre-election pledge to create a National Teaching Service. This will look to recruit a pool of 1,500 high achieving teachers over five years who would be sent to schools in areas with poor results, such as coastal towns. In a bid to make these roles attractive to the 1,500 elite teachers, Mrs Morgan plans on providing financial incentives with staff expected to stay up to three years. The National Teaching Service will aim to play an integral role in solving the issue coastal towns and rural areas are facing. Brian Lightman, leader of the ASCL head teachers’ union, has welcomed the National Teaching Service with open arms claiming that it could be the answer to helping schools in parts of the country where they “simply cannot recruit teachers”. Back in 2001 this idea was used by a Mckinsey consultant Brett Wigdortz, who recruited top graduates, offered them six weeks of teacher training and then put them straight to work in the country’s worst performing schools. In return the graduates where offered mentoring, support and better than average starting salaries. But will it work this time?
Strategies similar to these have been previously used offering top head teachers incentives to go to failing schools in coastal areas. The idea is favoured by almost everyone but where are these 1,500 ‘elite teachers’ coming from? Surely they will be working at other schools? Taking these teachers from the other schools will this not hamper their progression? What do you think? Have your say here…