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Educating Norfolk: Teacher recruitment and retention

PUBLISHED: 07:00 27 February 2014

Colin Collis, county secretary of the NASUWT.; Photo: Bill Smith

Colin Collis, county secretary of the NASUWT.; Photo: Bill Smith


Teacher recruitment has been seen as a persistent problem, with the number of positions advertised but not filled ranging from 93 in spring 2009, to 27 last autumn.

Colin Collis, of teaching union the NASUWT, said many teachers were leaving the profession because of burn out, unreasonable workloads, and pressure passed down by senior staff.

Ian Clayton, of Thorpe St Andrew School, said his school could attract applications, but sometimes struggled with quality, and said the county’s reputation made teacher recruitment harder.

The Teach First programme, which recruits top graduates to teach in deprived areas which often struggle to recruit and retain teachers, will come to Norfolk in September.

Teach First was recently the focus of the BBC Three series Tough Young Teachers.

A Teach First spokesman said 50 Norfolk primary and six secondary schools may be eligible.

However, Mr Collis raised concerns about the increase in school-based rather than university-based training.

He said: “The quality of what happens in terms of training is not just what happens in the classroom, but giving them the opportunity to look at the theory behind how people learn. It gives you a broad overview of education and what education means.”


  • Irony is that most of the research led universities that provide the top training to teachers are being side-lined by Gove as they are questioning his policies and rapid experiments that defy the evidence for improvement. The privatisation of schools has already happened and all this means is heads and senior managers are able to increase their pay and reduce their work load - at the cost of the students.

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    Thursday, February 27, 2014

  • Its very simple- its a tough job and you have to do it- or know someone who does- to find that out. Setting aside the normal media nonsense about "long holiday and short days"...averaged through the year teachers work longer hours than a normal 9-5 day, what with marking and preparing lessons- and one of their biggest challenges is bad, disruptive pupil behavior which in itself deserves an EDP article! I have nothing but admiration for the majority of dedicated teachers who do a very difficult job.

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    Stephen Strange

    Thursday, February 27, 2014

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