Essex County Council is working alongside local schools in a bid to increase teacher recruitment in the region
A new strategic group has been formed in Essex in an attempt to ease the shortage of teachers.
Essex County Council, alongside representatives from the Association of Secondary Headteachers in Essex (ASHE), the Essex Primary Headteachers’ Association (EPHA) and Essex Special School Education Trust (ESSET), will work to investigate new recruitment strategies.
The group will be supported via funding from the Essex Schools Forum. It is hoped teachers from areas such as Lancashire, Cheshire, and Wales—where there are surpluses of staff—can be encouraged to relocate to the area. The group will also look at recruiting overseas teaching staff.
Additionally, the group has funded Step to Teach, a graduate internship programme, which is being run by the county council’s EES for Schools. This offers paid experience in schools before committing to a career in teaching. Once interns complete the programme they can move into a teacher training programme with one of the other providers.
A bursary scheme has also been initiated to support people on non-salaried teacher training courses in areas across the county that are struggling to recruit.
Schools facing significant recruitment challenges will also receive support to help attract teachers via means such as offering secure rented homes.
Cabinet Member for Education and Lifelong Learning Councillor Ray Gooding said: “Essex is on a fantastic school improvement journey, with more than four in five schools currently rated as good or outstanding by Ofsted.
“A strong supply of good quality teachers is vital if that progress is to continue and pupils are to receive the best possible education.
“We actively support schools with the growing challenge of recruitment and I am pleased to be currently working with ASHE, EPHA and ESSET on a number of new strategies to attract teachers to Essex.”
Simon Thompson, ASHE Executive Director, said: “Secondary headteachers in Essex welcome the efforts being made jointly by the county council, ASHE, EPHA and ESSET to attract teachers to come and work in Essex.
“We know that recruitment nationally is currently becoming more difficult for schools and we support this initiative to attract the best teachers to work with schoolchildren in all types of schools in Essex.”