Narrowing number of teacher training providers will add to staff crisis – Labour
Children are being taught in “woefully understaffed” schools and the situation will become worse as the Government narrows the number of teacher training providers, Labour has warned.
Shadow education minister Stephen Morgan questioned why the Government had removed a quarter of teacher training providers from its accredited list as the country faces a “teacher recruitment and retention crisis”.
The alarm was raised as teachers in England continue strike action over stagnant pay and workload pressures.
Mr Morgan told the Commons: “The Government missed its secondary teacher recruitment target by 40% this year, meaning more and more children… across the country will be taught by non-specialist teachers and will be attending schools that are woefully understaffed.
“In the midst of a teacher recruitment and retention crisis, does the minister really think removing a quarter of teacher training providers will help address this crisis?”
Responding, education minister Nick Gibb said the latest round of teacher training provider accreditation had “resulted in 179 very high quality teacher training providers being accredited”.
He added: “There are a number that failed the accreditation but we want to ensure there is consistency with teacher training in our system.
“In terms of teacher recruitment, there have been challenges in secondary education teacher recruitment this year, post-Covid.”
Mr Gibb went on: “Recruitment is a problem right across the economy not just in teaching, but prior to the Covid pandemic we were recruiting very near to our targets, and in primary education we exceeded those targets.”
Regional walkouts by National Education Union members are planned for February 28, March 1 and March 2, with national strike action across England and Wales planned for March 15 and March 16.
The union last week said it would continue with strikes as no progress has been made in negotiations over pay.