School heads ‘struggling’ to attract new Newham teachers

Tahreem Hussain, headteacher of Colegrave Primary School in Newham

Tahreem Hussain, headteacher of Colegrave Primary School in Newham - Credit: Archant

Teachers qualifying in Stratford are set for faster employment this year as an east London schools recruitment crisis kicks in, according to a local teacher training provider.

SCITTELS (School Centred Initial Teacher Training in East London Schools) works with schools across Newham and says headteachers are struggling to attract good quality candidates.

Tahreem Hussain, headteacher of Colegrave Primary School in Henniker Road, Stratford, outlined some of the challenges schools face when trying to employ strong teachers for primaries.

She said: “From speaking to other headteachers it’s clear that there is a real recruitment crisis this year.

“Schools are looking for creative ways to ensure they are fully staffed with strong, resilient teachers.

“Now is a great time to come into primary teaching in east London – if you work hard and do well you will be able to quickly find employment in a good or outstanding school.”

Last year, 100 per cent of trainees who finished the programme started teaching jobs the following September and the training provider are expecting the same again this year, according to SCITTELS employment tutor Julia McKinley

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“With several weeks to go until schools close for the summer holidays, most of the trainees who are finishing their primary teacher training with us this June have already secured teaching positions for September,” she added.

However, secretary of the Newham Teachers’ Association, Peter Smith, blames the “recruitment crisis” on an increased workload and stress that comes with the job.

He says he isn’t surprised to hear there’s a decline in new teachers entering the profession.

“We’ve been predicting this for the last 10 years,” he added.

“I assume it’s harder to recruit teachers because the job is so stressful these days with the Ofsted agenda and workload mentality.”