Education across the UK is facing a uniquely difficult moment, facing the twin challenges of ensuring student and staff health amid a pandemic, while also ensuring continuity of learning.
In the immediate future, the imperative is to successfully operate through the pandemic.
While challenges remain, there are also opportunities to seize the moment and reimagine how we can empower professionals to deliver the best post-pandemic education possible.
Attracting and Retaining Talent
One of the few benefits to be gained from economic uncertainty is its positive effect on new entrant numbers and teacher retention levels. From the start of the first lockdown to July 2020, 21,410 graduates applied to teacher training programmes – a massive increase of 65 per cent on the five-year average.
But as the challenges of teaching in the ‘new normal’ become apparent, retention rates may not remain as rosy. Government guidelines, Ofsted pressure and increased workloads have all negatively impacted staff, teachers and leaders. So, are we running the risk of reversing the rates once the economic conditions improve?
How can we create a future where the teaching profession can feel secure in the fresh talent it attracts and the motivated talent that it retains? Of course, salaries and funding are crucial, but we believe it goes way beyond that. The key is the right support. Training routes, peer mentoring and changes to student assessments are just a few of the solutions that need to be baked into a framework for the future. Without it, we risk excellent teachers at all levels walking out of the door.
Accessible HR Advice
“The Smart School’s HR team have a way of getting the best from you, by coaching you through the different HR issues and asking what you want to do? What do you think would be best? What do you think the consequences might be of a certain action? The team have also supported the College by attending full governing body meetings, late into the evenings, offering an expert perspective as well as being able to answer more in-depth questions.” Tracy Dohel, Principal at Ernest Bevin College
ICT Continuous Professional Development
From desktops to iPads, white boards to mobiles, ICT skills are essential for both the effective running of schools and the quality of the educational experience. To ensure all staff across a school are competent and confident using technology, Wandsworth City Learning Centre offers UK-wide CPD and workforce development training.