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What’s new in education?

The teacher shortage

With the population rising so does the demand for teachers. Figures suggest that 20% of all teacher roles are unfilled. It is estimated in 2024 that there will be a shortage of 50,000 teachers in the UK. So what is being done to fix it? Teacher training funding across PGCE & SCITT programs means applicants may be eligible for bursaries and scholarships. High achieving graduates can opt for salaried training through School Direct & Teach First, meaning they can earn while they train to avoid tuition fees. 

Workplace stress

Long hours of prep, restrictive holiday and high pressure on delivering results. No wonder teachers are feeling the strain. In 2017, 3,750 teachers were signed off with long-term sick, that’s one in 83 teachers. Figures show that as a 5% rise on figures from 2016. It’s suggested that teachers work more unpaid overtime than any other profession. Constant changes to the curriculum mean our teachers are struggling to keep up. The majority of schools now have a mental awareness coordinator amongst staff members, if you don’t have one of these within your establishment we suggest you speak to your senior management team about setting one up. Remember the teaching you deliver directly correlates to your mind, so take time out and remember to make the most of the restrictive holidays you do get!

Budget cuts vs pay rises

From 2015 there have been cuts of £2.8 Billion to the education sector. These cuts have had some visible impacts to teaching. In real terms, many schools have had to reduce teacher and teaching assistant posts to make budget stretch. The Budget cuts have seen a decrease in staffing, comparing 2014/15 to 2016/17, there are 15,000 less staff in secondary education. In July of this year, a national pay increase for teachers was announced. As the public-sector cap is lifted, teachers welcomed an 3.5% increase in pay.

Safety

Unfortunately the debate of teachers safety is becoming commonplace in the education system. Not only is physical violence a real threat but the stress levels of the job are causing teachers more and more harm. 75% of teachers are said to have experienced symptoms of stress, such as depression. If you feel under threat in your working environment it is recommended that you speak directly to your senior management team. 

Results

Despite the new GCSEs being deemed tougher and more demanding, the GCSE pass rate in the UK rose in 2018. The average pass level rose by 0.5%, with 66.9% of students achieving this. An impressive 20% of students boasted an equivalent to an A grade. (7 on the new marking system)

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