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DfE turns to graduates to fill teacher shortage.
A teacher shortage has led to generous bursaries being offered to graduates looking to join the profession.
The Department for Education is under pressure to explain how it aims to retain and develop teachers. Teaching recruitment expert Prof John Howson of Oxford Brookes University has stated that “The number of trainees is falling and it raises serious questions for the government, teachers may ask themselves why they’re doing the job for the money they get, when it costs an extra year in training and possibly an extra loan.”
New teacher applications are down by 29% since last year.
In a bid to counter this, the DfE are offering both tax free bursaries as well as scholarships worth up to £28,000 so that graduates can train toward a PGCE or Post Graduate Certificate in Education. England and Wales require teachers to obtain QTS (qualified teacher status). This can be attained whilst training for the PGCE.
The PGCE can be seen as an “opportunity to think beyond day to day classroom practice and find connections between their own practice and the work of experts,” says Alison Griffiths who heads initial teacher education at Goldsmiths.The PGCE is not something that is restricted to universities, school-based initial teacher training courses also lead to a PGCE. Generally this is completed within a year and whilst it includes lectures and tutorials, the focal point is on-the-job training provided by teachers who are part of a participating school.
Even with the above training options, teacher recruitment remains extremely problematic and the DfE is expected to explain how it intends to support, retain and develop teachers to the government’s Public Accounts Committee before this summer.