The Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) has responded to the Education Select Committee’s inquiry on teacher recruitment and training, warning that recruitment guidance in the sector needs simplification to attract and retain talent. The APSCo has suggested a number of measures to improve recruitment and training in the sector, including prioritising Early Years and literacy, allowing more school-based decision making, and increasing teacher training finance and focus on wellbeing support. The APSCo has also called for a reduction and clarification of recruitment and compliance guidance from the Department for Education (DfE) and Ofsted.
The shortage of teaching professionals is widely reported across the UK, with vacancies in the sector significantly higher for 2023, according to a report produced by the APSCo in conjunction with Broadbean. Application numbers have failed to match the growth in demand, resulting in difficulties for institutions to recruit permanent and temporary resources. The APSCo has suggested that the current DfE and Ofsted requirements are too rigid, and do not accommodate the regional nuances and individual requirements of differing education institutions.
While there is a shortage of staff across the entire education remit, the APSCo has identified a critical need to prioritise Early Years teachers and support staff, as the learning which takes place during this stage cannot be postponed until a later date. The APSCo has called for reform of the rigid recruitment and compliance frameworks currently in place to account for the complexities of hiring in education on a local, regional and national level.
Tania Bowers, Global Public Policy Director at APSCo, said: “Our members and their clients have reported consistent difficulties recruiting permanent and temporary resources as a combination of difficult working conditions and pay issues continue to prevent many from entering or remaining in the profession… We strongly believe that the rigid recruitment and compliance frameworks currently in place need reform that accounts for the complexities of hiring in education on a local, regional and national level.”
The Education Select Committee will now consider the APSCo’s recommendations in its ongoing inquiry.