Education, the National Health Service and social care were at the centre of the Chancellor’s Autumn statement, and it is very positive that these three departments are recognised as priorities by the government during the current difficult economic period.
The headlines and brief comments attempt to give some background to the current situation and suggest some bullet pointed threads that can possibly link them together.
Heads to vote on strike ballot despite cash boost
The ASCL Union issued a ‘consultative ballot’ on industrial action vote as ‘schools have faced a decade of real-terms cuts’ and teacher pay deal that is both ‘inadequate’ and ‘unaffordable’, with other teacher unions also considering ballots and strike action. The details around this and the other headlines below, are well understood by everyone in Education.
DfE raises teacher training bursaries amid recruitment crisis
The DfE has raised the cash incentives for teacher trainees next year amid mounting concerns about the recruitment crisis. The increased bursaries will be applied across several subjects and the DfE has also reinstated the English bursary at £15,000 after this was removed two years ago. This news has been welcomed, but looking just at primary and secondary trainee figures this year, the number placed on courses starting this September is 24,429 – 25 percent short of the 32,600 trainee target set by the DfE itself earlier this year.
Almost 3 in 5 schools consider teaching job cuts
The majority of heads responding to an ASCL survey said they would have to make financial savings this year and next year, before the Chancellor’s Autumn statement, with over 50 percent saying job cuts and bigger class sizes could be a result of this. The part funding of last year’s pay award also underlies these concerns.
Teacher vacancy adverts hit record high
A teacher vacancy service has recorded a record 100,000 teaching post adverts so far this year. TeachVac says it has recorded 100,000 adverts for teaching posts so far in 2022, far above the 60,000 figure recorded in a normal year. The chairperson believes this is caused by “a combination of more teachers leaving, fewer new entrants from training and a post-COVID catch-up to cope with increased pupil numbers”.
Secondary teacher trainees 40 percent below government target
The government has missed its target for secondary teacher trainee numbers by 40 percent, data released in late September suggested, with the number of secondary trainees accepted onto courses 23 percent below pre-pandemic levels. Physics, computing, English and biology are facing particular problems.
Early years hubs ‘will help to address the impact of COVID’
These hubs will be created within existing strong early years settings with “expertise and knowledge of what works to support child outcomes”. The DfE wants these settings to have “demonstrable experience” of delivering effective practice for the benefit of children.
Early years curriculum: 5 Ofsted findings
Ofsted has highlighted COVID’s impact on young children’s communication and social skills and stressed the value of play in the first of a series of reviews into the early years. Ofsted’s review comes after its chief inspector, Amanda Spielman, said she wanted early years provision to be a specific and strategic focus over the next five years, in part due to concerns over the impact of the pandemic on early years children.
Schools to get extra £4.6 billion over 2 years
The Chancellor revealed a school funding uplift in his Autumn statement, as the government said it will invest an extra £2.3 billion per year in schools over the next two years. He said he would go beyond “protecting” the schools budget and “increase” it, because the government wanted school standards “to continue to rise for every child”.
John Croghan M.Ed. BA. Cert.Ed.
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John Croghan M.Ed. BA. CertEd. has over 50 years of experience in education, as a teacher, leading learning in classrooms from EYFS to Y11, as well as a leader and primary headteacher. He enjoyed his role supporting Every Child Matters in schools and has advised and supported schools across the West Midlands, as well as leading OFSTED inspections. He is currently a school consultant, mentor, and governor.
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