AT the NAHT, the school leaders’ union, we’ve just announced the results of our annual schools recruitment survey and for the fourth year, the findings are a huge concern. 

The government is still failing to provide enough teachers for our growing school population. The recruitment pipeline is leaking at both ends, with insufficient numbers of newly qualified teachers coming into the system and too many experienced teachers leaving prematurely. 

The survey highlights that eight out of ten teaching vacancies were difficult to fill and two thirds of school leaders said they were aware of some staff having left the teaching profession, for reasons other than retirement.

The top two reasons cited were workload and achieving a better work-life balance. 

Anyone working in a school knows how rewarding it is to help young people learn and grow. On a good day, there’s no better profession to be in. The trouble is, our teachers work longer hours, for less money compared to their peers around the world. 

The government must make the changes necessary to ensure a workforce that can deliver the best education for all.

This should be the focus of all our attention, to attract and retain teachers, pay them properly, treat them well and respect their need for a proper work-life balance. 

Deputy general secretary, NAHT