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Teachers to be offered a year's paid leave to improve retention.

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Teachers to be offered a year's paid leave to improve retention.

Education secretary Damian Hinds plans to unveil a £5m scheme in a bid to keep experienced teachers in schools. Teachers in England are to be offered up to a year’s paid sabbatical after 10 years of service, in what is the government’s latest attempt to solve the teaching crisis.

Hinds has said that the initiative aims to make sure that teaching continues to be “an attractive, fulfilling profession”. The initiative would allow teachers to take anything ranging from a term to a year away from the classroom if they can demonstrate that it will benefit their teaching career.

Only those teachers with 10 years’ experience under their belt would be eligible to apply, as the sabbatical is intended to reward long service and ultimately keep experienced teachers in the profession.

This was not the only topic of discussion as Hinds also plans to announce a range of other initiatives stating that “We will be introducing an enhanced offer of support for new teachers – including extending the induction period to two years – and we will work with the profession to develop a new early career content framework that will set out all the training and mentoring a teacher is entitled to in those first years.”

These initiatives according to Hinds are an attempt to make schools “attractive 21st century workplaces”.

Hinds’s plans will come as a welcome change as the education sector is facing a shortfall of 30,000 classroom teachers with only 80% of the teachers needed for secondary schools joining the profession. Similarly, according to a recent National Education Union survey, 80% of classroom teachers say they have considered quitting the profession because of their heavy workload.

The proposals would put teaching on par with schemes in use in other industries and sectors, including higher education, the DfE said.