The Teaching Profession in Scotland: Attraction, Recruitment and Retention
Underpinning all ambitions for education provision in Scotland is an ongoing and evolving demand on teachers. They are at the heart of the Attainment Challenge and the Curriculum for Excellence and yet it is still difficult to fill positions in high-need areas and subjects. Heavy workloads, an increasing number of qualified teachers leaving the profession, and a funding-driven demand to maintain teacher numbers all testify to a need to ensure greater teacher retention as much as the continued attraction of new teachers.
With an Education Governance Review to publish its next steps document in June this year, the Scottish Government is taking steps to empower teachers along with the schools they work in, and with measures to ‘de-clutter the curriculum’ and mention of a ‘North-East salary weighting’ these issues are being increasingly tackled on all fronts. With the Education and Skills Committee gathering evidence for its inquiry into teacher workforce planning it is timely to ask what more can be done to ensure greater teacher retention whilst maintaining quality and how will this impact on training and recruitment?
From ‘Teaching Makes People’ to reducing assessment workload, this timely briefing will put attempts to attract, recruit, and retain qualified teachers in context and explore the impact these are having now and likely to have in the future.
Key issues to be addressed
- The latest policy priorities and developments surrounding attracting new teachers and teacher training
- Where and why teacher shortages are appearing
- What measures are in place to keep teachers in, or encourage them back to, the classroom
09:15 Registration and Refreshments
10:00 Session 1: Policy and Context
- Policy, local government, and the classroom: the relationships that inform teacher recruitment
- An update on Scottish Government policy and the latest measures
- Teachers and the Curriculum for Excellence
09:55 Welcome and Introduction by the Chair
Tom Freeman, Education Journalist, Holyrood Magazine
10:00 Who Would Be A Teacher?
- Why do we struggle to recruit teachers?
- What is the effect of CfE?
- How will this be affected by Governance review?
- What should we do?
Iain Gray MSP, Scottish Labour Spokesperson for Education and MSP for East Lothian
10.20 Teachers for Scotland's Future: Setting the Context
- Teacher numbers and workforce planning
- Teacher attraction and retention issues
- Addressing the issues: now and in the future
Kenneth Muir, Chief Executive and Registrar, General Teaching Council of Scotland (GTCS)
10.40 Questions and Discussion
11:30 Session 2: Recruitment and Addressing Gaps in the Workforce
- ‘Teaching Makes People’ and how we can attract more STEM graduates into teaching
- The unique demands of rural communities and how to meet them
- Increasing need for flexibility across subjects and age groups
- Ensuring a more racially and gender-balanced workforce to provide positive role-models for all
- Are alternative routes to qualification the answer?
11.30 Jatin Haria, Executive Director, Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights
11.45 Reuben Moore, Director of Leadership, TeachFirst
12.00 Dr Liz Lakin, Senior Lecturer in Education, University of Dundee and Member of The Learned Societies’ Group on Scottish STEM Education (LSG)
12.15 Professor Rowena Arshad OBE, Head of Moray House School of Education, University of Edinburgh and Co-Director of the Centre for Education for Racial Equality in Scotland (CERES)
12.20 Questions and Panel Discussion
13.00 Lunch and Refreshments
13:40 Session 3: Workload, Leadership, and Retention
13.40 The Chalk Face
- The place of teachers within the educational landscape and the Curriculum for Excellence
- The front-line experience and the realities of low-pay and low-staffing
- How can we reduce the demands on teachers without compromising on quality of education?
Richard Bell, National Executive Member Scotland, NASUWT
14.05 Questions and Discussion
14.20 Obstacles to Recruitment and Retention
- Inflexibility in recruitment
- Inflexibility in reward
- Poor control over workload
- Over-accountability and regulation
Keir Bloomer, Chair, Commission on School Reform
14.40 Questions and Discussion
15.00 Close of Event
*Agenda subject to change
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