‘Golden Hello’

golden hello 220115

Teachers in shortage subjects or roles are being offered corporate type benefits, including gym memberships and cash bonuses by schools in order to attract and retain particular skilled teachers.

Other benefits schools are offering include: childcare schemes, relocation schemes, legal and associated expenses for moving, removals, jobs for partners and temporary/initial housing costs.

Due to the recruitment crisis schools are increasingly having to use new and innovative ways to reach out to potential recruits, from extended remuneration packages such as healthcare and relocation schemes to improved career development programmes to clinch the best talent.

Robbie O’Driscoll, group commercial director at Eteach explained the teacher recruitment crisis is the “not an isolated problem and it’s not going away.

“As competition between schools is increasing, there is an intense battle for recruiting and retaining top talent.

For some schools, location can be a real challenge to attract top teacher talent which is why a number of schools, particularly in London, will assist and in some case provide accommodation in order to attract and retain top teacher talent.

Mike Clinch, Headmaster at St Illtyds’s Catholic High School in Cardiff found that location was an issues for him in recruiting Maths teachers last year, “We created a benefits package to appeal to potential candidates across the country. The package included a golden hello, a substantial relocation package and travel expenses including toll bridge payments.”

Travel also seems to be real issues, with teachers travelling to London being offered substantial reductions on season tickets for the tube. In some instances, teachers are being offered interest free loans of up to £2,000 to accommodate travel costs.

Some benefits are not as practical as travel or relocation, some schools across London and the South West are offering luxury benefits such as gym memberships or a range of private healthcare packages with senior leadership professionals offered memberships at more luxurious facilities.

So how has this become more common place? Schools and trusts now have greater freedoms to offer improved packages to teachers in shortage subjects meaning they will often pay off scale for the relevant experience of the teacher and with the most experienced teachers they will see improved remuneration packages and pay rises in order to retain them.

 

A DfE spokesman said: “Every child deserves to be taught be a great teacher and that’s why we are committed to attracting the brightest and the best into our schools.

“Over the last parliament we made it easier than ever before for schools to tailor how they recruit, pay and retain their staff – including allowing them to pay their best staff more. We welcome the fact that schools are embracing these new flexibilities.”

 

These incentives are not dissimilar to Government schemes in attracting teacher talent to train. The DfE offers bursaries in priority subjects, and has a £67m package to improve science, technology, engineering and maths teaching in England encouraging top graduates to consider training to teach priority subjects like maths, physics and computing with bursaries worth up to £25,000 and impressive scholarships.

An economic recovery has meant graduates have now more options and some are opting for better-paid jobs in the City. Concerns over growing workload has also put many off the professions and there is evidence that many more are planning on leaving the profession altogether.

But are these incentives working? Mike Clinch, Headmaster at St Illtyds’s Catholic High School in Cardiff seems to think so! “We recruited five maths teachers and now have completely revitalised our maths department. The teachers we recruited are excellent and are thriving within the school.”

What do you think of the new era of ‘Golden Hellos’? Will this make you think before accepting your next teaching contract? Have your say…

3 thoughts on “‘Golden Hello’

  1. hi

    What about assisting people who want to be teachers? I am 54, well travelled and experienced, educated to degree level and a post grad diploma. I now return to my home town with my 12 year old son. I have always thought of teaching and make learning fun for my son. There are major hoops and hurdles to get into teaching and supply teaching is almost a career in itself. What about advising people like me, and assisting through your networks, maybe even sponsoring older people into teaching/supply teaching? Then, whenever training is finished, they have to commit to your company x amount of time? It seems a waste with lots of people like me around, and lots of children needing teaching that the two cant be better married somehow. Thanks.

  2. I started teaching in late 40s, following wide experience elsewhere.
    Sorry, to not give you the answers you want.
    1. Teaching day in day out is extremely different to thinking of new ways to make learning interesting for one’s own child. In fact, wanting to make things interesting points to one of the many issues I had with teaching. Producing interesting and exciting lessons often relies on resources – which take up your time in gathering them up from home, or your own money in purchasing them. In primary schools I felt it was not underfunding, so much as heads being parsimonious (and invariably not to ensure money retained in the coffers, but in order to argue to school governors for their own pay rises).

    2. The profession is at the least not-welcoming and in the worst cases unpleasantly resistant to experience other than from those who have ‘only ever wanted to be a teacher’.

    In 2010 I was not convinced with arguments from teacher unions that, in order to get the best, teaching profession should be well paid and that there would be teacher shortages. The profession has been demonised since then – on the assumption that there would be a queue of high quality entrants waiting to fill the gaps created by those who had had enough. Instead, by demonising teaching, the situation has been created of ‘Who’d want to be a teacher?’ For the most able, there are ample, well-paid opportunities elsewhere. As I know from my own offspring – both English grads who would not contemplate teaching.

    One thing is for sure, teaching needs extremely high energy levels and in my experience, the profession did not welcome or prioritise part-time teaching – the only answer for the mature entrant to the profession.

  3. Alison,
    Do something else.
    I’m 53 and semi-retired as a teacher two years ago. I got really fed up of the sickening workload, bureaucratic overload, ungratefulness of parents, SLT and pupils and most of all, the constant slagging off by HMG.
    Because I can afford it, I do 6 hours teaching a week – probably equates to at least 12 actual hours with prep, marking etc and I can cope with that and enjoy my work. The fact that my current workplace is a bit like schools were 15 years ago – I am treated like a human being – helps too.
    Don’t be under any illusions; unions are not talking the profession down and deterring applicants – it is a poorly paid, excessively demanding, target obsessed slog and you can get really worn down by it.
    There are easier places to be if you don’t REALLY want to do it.

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