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THE DEDICATED EDUCATION MAGAZINE FOR HEAD TEACHERS AND EDUCATORS ACROSS THE UK

Fears over teacher and classroom assistant shortages

Three-quarters of education employers expect to encounter a shortage of suitable teaching professionals over the next 12 months according to new research. The research, launched by Hays Education found that the same amount (75%) of schools have experienced recruitment difficulties over the past 12 months.

Classroom-based support staff have been the most difficult to hire over the past 12 months (45%) followed by teachers (43%) and other support staff such as administration, recruitment, and office staff (24%). Other areas of skills shortages include teaching professionals in science (22%), maths (21%), SEND (22%) and specialist teaching assistants (20%).

The Hays Education Salary & Recruiting Trends 2022 guide, based on a survey of over 2,500 employers and employees from a range of education settings revealed that employers need to focus on career development opportunities to better attract and retain teaching talent throughout this year and beyond.

Aside from salary, career development was cited as the most important factor in attracting staff yet close to two-thirds (59%) of professionals working in education said their employer doesn’t regularly discuss their career plans with them.

Skills challenges affecting employee morale across the teaching profession

As education settings battle with skills shortages, over half (55%) of education leaders report that skills shortages have had an impact on employee morale, with a third (33%) reporting an increase in absenteeism due to stress. 42% of respondents say skills shortages are negatively impacting teachers, with the same percentage (42%) reporting negative impacts for classroom-based support staff. 

Nearly half (48%) of respondents said they believe the main cause of skills shortages in education is fewer professionals entering the job market in the sector, alongside 26% who say the main cause is people leaving to join another industry.

Almost a third (29%) of professionals moved jobs in the last year, and a further 35% considered doing so. The main reasons professionals left were because of a poor work-life balance (20%), their salary being too low (17%) and a lack of career development opportunities (16%).

Commenting on the research, Paul Matthias, National Director of Hays Education, said: “It’s been a challenging couple of years across the education sector and it’s clear that skills shortages are not only having a negative impact on the potential to hire new staff – staff are also feeling the strain.

As well as offering opportunities for upskilling across the sector, and hiring for potential, leaders need to be encouraging existing staff to identify their own skills gaps to provide the right training to support their development. Taking the time to discuss roles, responsibilities and putting career progression plans in place will also be vital – especially as the pandemic may well have caused some staff to take on additional responsibilities.

A focus on facilitating a more positive work-life balance and putting practical initiatives in place to better support employee wellbeing will also be essential in supporting existing workforces, as well as helping to attract new talent.”

In response to the survey findings, Stephen Morales, Chief Executive Officer of ISBL said: “ISBL was pleased to support Hays Education in undertaking this important sector research into salary and recruitment trends in education.

“These findings should help school leaders, governors and trustees manage recruitment and retention risks and also identify new opportunities in the education labour market.

“It is important that all education professionals continue to engage in meaningful CPD and that employers invest in the development of their teams. It is disappointing that 59% of those surveyed don’t feel supported or encouraged to pursue professional development opportunities.

“Staff costs represent the largest proportion of school budgets. The retention, ongoing development and optimum deployment of this key resource are significant factors in the success of a school or trust.”

To access the full report, visit: https://www.hays.co.uk/education-salary-guide

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