The shortage of new teachers entering the profession has been given a welcome boost with the announcement that the Department for Education (DfE) will increase its recruitment marketing spend this year.
To meet its targets, the government needs to attract 35,000 applicants for a teacher training course each year. But in the year 2015-2016 that figure fell woefully short, with just 25,950 trainees registered compared to 27,880 in 2015.
In a bid to reignite interest in teaching as a profession, the government has agreed to increase the amount it spends on recruitment marketing from £10.4 million in 2015 to £16.7 million this year.
The announcement follows reports in February showing that the amount that schools spend on recruitment agency fees increased by almost a fifth (18.5 per cent) in the past four years, from £469 million in 2012/13 to £556 million in 2015/16.
Demand is such that some teacher recruitment agencies are currently charging commission fees of up to 30% – almost double the industry average.
February’s Education Select Committee report warned that the Government has no long-term strategy to deal with the teacher recruitment crisis. It highlighted the fact that the government has missed its recruitment targets for each of the last five years.
It is perhaps no surprise to learn that recruitment start-ups are specialising in teaching more than any other sector.