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Teaching the teachers

Plans to shake up teacher recruitment and retention could be good news for universities, but much of the detail is yet to be spelled out.

The Department for Education’s teacher recruitment and retention strategy, published last week, received a surprisingly warm response. It is not often that a Conservative government strategy document comes with the endorsement of the National Education Union, the National Association of Head Teachers, the Association of School and College Leaders and five other prominent education organisations.

Perhaps the support stems from the undeniable reality that a recruitment strategy was overdue and badly needed: teacher training has become something of a basket case. As one dissenting voice, Labour’s shadow education secretary Angela Rayner, said in response to the strategy: “Teacher recruitment targets have been missed for six consecutive years and teachers are leaving the profession in record numbers. Nothing in this strategy will reverse years of real-terms pay cuts and the huge cuts to school budgets that have made it impossible for schools to recruit the staff they need.”

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