Teacher training pilot scheme launched in Weston
PUBLISHED: 07:00 11 October 2019
Schools in Weston-super-Mare are piloting a revolutionary scheme to address the chronic shortage of teachers.
The number of teachers in North Somerset has dropped by two per cent over the past four years, with increasing numbers leaving the profession and fewer students signing up to train.
Weston's population is set to increase drastically over the next 10 years and education leaders fear schools will struggle to fill teaching posts.
The Cabot Learning Federation (CLF) has been chosen to launch Tomorrow's Teachers - a scheme which helps schools to identify future teachers among their own pupils and help to nurture and train them.
CLF runs Hans Price, Broadoak, Winterstoke Hundred, Haywood Village, and Herons' Moor academies in Weston and Worle, as well as academies in Bristol and South Gloucestershire.
The programme, launched by Tes, aims to help recruit more 'home grown' talent into teaching and support regions which find it particularly hard to recruit. Pupils will be guided through a structured course which introduces them to teaching and allows them to gain relevant skills and experience back at their old school.
Alison Fletcher, director of CLF Institute, said: "Across the South West, all of the providers are struggling to recruit as many trainees as they wanted to for this year of training, particularly in primary but also in subjects such as maths, physics and modern languages.
"This is one of a number of initiatives aimed at tackling the teacher recruitment and retention issue.
"We are a hub for any schools interested in running this scheme."
The number of teachers in North Somerset has dropped from 1,602 in 2014, to 1,564 last year, despite more schools opening.
By 2024, there is expected to be a shortage of 4,487 teachers across the whole of the South West region.
The Department for Education has launched a number of initiatives to try to encourage new teachers into the profession including bursaries and scholarships.
Mrs Fletcher added: "I think growing our own is part of the strategy.
"Schools don't promote teaching as a career as we assume everyone knows what we do.
"This scheme will encourage us to promote teaching as a profession."