Extra Funding Should be Focused on New Teachers in Shortage Subjects
The Education Policy Institute has stated that extra funding on pay rise should be focused on teachers that are still new in their careers who are presently teaching shortage subjects. The extra money in subjects such as physics will be needed so as to encourage these new teachers to remain in the position.
A report by EPI warns about how the government seems to be focusing way too much attention on recruiting teachers but does not really exert that much effort in getting these new recruits to remain in the profession. Peter Gale Godalming, an experienced educational professional, believes this is a good opportunity to improve retention, especially since there is strong empirical evidence which shows that one way of keeping teachers from leaving their posts is to target financial incentives in those subjects where a shortage of teachers is being experienced. However, the report also acknowledges that despite the fact that schools are able to cover the pay rise, they are still unable to offer as a result of budget pressures.
There is immense pressure on the part of the government to announce even more funding for schools around the country after the one-per-cent cap ban on the public sector pay has been lifted. According to unions, teachers require a pay rise. However, there is a need to properly fund it in order for schools to have the means to award it. The EPI report also recommends that officials start considering targeting additional funds for schools to supplement the salary of new teachers that are assigned to shortage subjects.
However, there are criticisms that are flung over the proposal, especially from the unions. There are those who warned that giving more money only to some teachers but not to the others can easily cause problems with those that are not going to be extended the supplemental pay. Some think that going for a differential approach in pay is likely not going to cause any improvement on the retention but will only end up sapping the morale of those existing teachers who have had to endure several years of pay cuts.
While getting the pay cap lifted for all the school roles can be a good start. However, there is a need for the government to fully fund the move especially since the current budget for schools is very near breaking point. Some also think that the findings of the report are even more proof of the government’s failure in ensuring that there are going to be enough teachers in British schools.
It should be noted that the number of school teachers that are coming in and those that are leaving jobs in schools that are funded by the state in the country is about the same. Still, the number of pupils is expected to have a four percent growth, especially at the primary level by 2026 while the number is at 20 percent for secondary. This means that more teachers are going to be needed.
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