UK education government mess causes drop in teacher recruitment

Austerity was something we were told was a ‘hard decision to make’ by the government, of course cuts and pay freezes didn’t effect the MP’s because they are all wealthy and don’t have to worry about case.
untitled-article-1434733775This policy is now coming home to roost with the mess the NHS, Education are in. Of course it would’ve been far easier to put up taxes to pay for it but that is another story.
So Teacher-training offers have fallen by 37 per cent over two years, despite a huge increase in recruitment campaign spending.
No one wants to work 60+ hours a week for the money on offer.

The government is spending millions of pounds on advertising for new teachers, but recruitment to teacher-training courses has hit some of its lowest levels since 2013-14 – so more money wasted.

New figures, released today by the university admissions service UCAS, reveal dramatic drops in the numbers of offers made for teacher-training places, compared with the same time two years ago.

Overall, 4,250 secondary offers have been made this year, across all subjects, compared with 6,790 offers at the same point two years ago: a 37 per cent drop.

The fall comes despite a significant increase in Department for Education’s spending on advertising and PR in an effort to recruit new teachers – £14 million last year, up from £5.6 million in 2014-15: a 150 per cent increase.

Across many subjects, the figures are among the lowest seen since 2013-14, when, at this stage, 2,790 secondary offers had been made overall.

John Howson, recruitment expert and visiting professor at Oxford Brookes University, said that the government had spent less than £5.5 million on advertising for new teachers in 2013-14.

As of this month, there have been 80 offers made for places to train to teach physics, compared with 150 offers that had been made at the same time two years ago.

The lowest-ever number of offers made at this point in the application process was in 2013-14, when 70 offers had been made.

Professor Howson pointed out that Ucas rounds its number of offers made to the nearest 10. “So 70 offers could be 74,” he said. “And 80 could be 76.”

Maths has also been badly hit. There have been 410 offers made this year to applicants wanting to train to teach maths, compared with 610 offers two years ago. The lowest number at this stage was in 2013-14, when 390 offers had been made.

Music offers have also dropped, from 150 two years ago to 70 this year. The previous lowest number of offers at this point in the application cycle had been in 2013-14, when 150 offers had been made.

And only 80 offers have been made for places to train to teach design and technology, compared with 350 offers two years ago. No records were kept for design and technology in 2013-14, but 90 offers had been made to teach design as a standalone subject.


And that is the state of play until someone stop using our children’s education and future as a political football.


Playground and break duty

The playground.

We’ve all been there.

BDP7AN_restricted_school-xlarge_trans_NvBQzQNjv4Bqeo_i_u9APj8RuoebjoAHt0k9u7HhRJvuo-ZLenGRumAIt is a busy, noisy and dynamic place, it can seem chaotic but in general any school worth it’s salt will have playground staff which is usually (but not always) are the trusty Teaching Assistants.

There are specific rules for the playground. For each KS1 (Key Stage 1) class of 30 children there must be 1 adult.

Interestingly for KS2 (Key Stage 2) there are no set number of adults required!

Our job is to ensure the safety of the children and differing schools have different rules. The school will have a safeguarding policy and it should be on their website, you need to understand the safeguarding rules.

I cannot emphasize how important this is.

Back to the playground though and what to look out for:

Bumps, Scrapes, Grazes and Bruises:
All we can really do is clean with a wet wipe (we are not allowed to use any form of antiseptic) and possibly a plaster but you need to check and make sure the child does not have an allergy to the materials found in the common plaster.

Many will not need anything, so calming the child down, making them feel cared for and distraction can also help.

Head injuries:
There can be very serious and ANY head injury should be treated as such. I look for a mark or a bump, check to see if the child feels sick or dizzy and (at my school and at many) send the child with an older child into the school office when the school staff will make a further assessment of any injuries. The parents will always be informed of any head injury.

We cannot remove them anymore.

Nose bleeds:
Take the child to the office.

Broken Bones:
I have never seen a broken bone in any playground but we never know so any injury must be taken seriously because it does happen.

Calling an Ambulance:
That will most likely be down to  the office staff but as a First Aider (your school should have you trained – I am Level 3 Paediatric First Aider) you should give your opinion.

Rough Play
This has to be stopped as it can escalate and injuries are inevitable.

Any form of bullying in unacceptable and should be reported immediately and should be logged on the behaviour log.

Children sitting by themselves
Children tend to sit by themselves for a number of reasons. They may have no one to play, they may be upset, home life may be hard or they could be SEN (Special educational Needs). Get down to their eye level, ask them open ended questions with care and concern and report anything unusual or suspicious.

Hitting or kicking
Physical violence is not acceptable under any circumstances and should be stopped and reported immediately.

Bickering and Disagreements
You will come across many of these and will need to make a decision on what you are told. Most are just silliness and a few words will usually help.



what_is_creative_teaching-e1433788418645.jpegTeachers, I have worked with a fair few over the years and have seen many more in action.

I currently work closely with 8 teachers, most Teaching Assistants won’t but that is part of my afternoon role as an IT Technician.

Teacher are of course are human, that is to say they come in all shapes and sizes. Some are good and some are not, some have a great deal of experience and some are newly qualified and most, in my experience are lovely and I am sure they would say the same about Teaching Assistants.

As a potential teaching assistant there are things you need to be aware of:

  • The Teacher is one of your managers and will supervise your work.
  • The Teacher needs to know what you say you are going to do you will do.
  • The Teacher makes the class decisions, you can makes suggestions but the decision is not yours, so if you have a great idea and it isn’t needed…let it go.
  • The Teacher may well have a bad day or two and hopefully will tell you when they are. My suggestion is to try and support them as best you can.
  • The Teacher will work an average of 50-60 days, will be tired, fed up, irritable and the work will pile up. The current government knows this but do little to help. Again my suggestion is to try and support them as best you can, however do not take on work that is the teachers, not yours. If you feel like that is happening speak to your manager.
  • The Teacher and the Teaching Assistant are a team. Try and work well together.
  • Any questions about any children discreetly speak to your teacher.
  • Any issues with children always tell your teacher.
  • Any problems with your teacher talk to them first and if it is not resolved speak only to your line manager.
  • Try and stay positive this will help your teacher more than you can imagine.

Something to consider.

A good experience:

The teacher I have worked with for the last two years is a wonderful teacher, experienced  and we had a lot of fun as well as the inevitable class problems. Within our class we dealt with special needs, classroom behaviour, death, bullying, playground injuries and a variety of other things.

A bad experience:

A teacher at another school would not talk to me and would not look at me when I was in the classroom. In the end I actually asked if she liked me because I felt I was being treated quite badly. She said she did but nothing changed so in this instance I could only believe the issue was her and her alone.

She is not longer a full time teacher.

So there is a bit of pot luck but on the whole I have had only positive experiences.