According to Ofsted, between 2014 and 2105 over 10% of the qualified teachers left the profession and, according to the Guardian, the numbers of applicants continues to fall. At the same time over 120,000 additional pupils need teaching and the difficulty in finding teachers is further exacerbated in shortage areas such as Science and Technology or languages.
Are there words that strike fear into a teacher more than "Ofsted is visiting"? Cue sleepless nights producing a week's worth of lesson plans, a rainforest's worth of admin and cross your fingers that little Jonny who fires paper planes from the back of the class, is off with a cold. Then of course, careers hang in the balance and self-esteem is shot if the inspector that sat in your class for half an hour deems your teaching to be unsatisfactory.
Schools and parents are facing a chronic teacher shortage, a lack of school places, chaos around curriculum changes and primary tests and a funding crisis. But instead of dealing with these very real issues the Government is pursuing a top down re-organisation of education that has no basis in evidence to support it.
Young people hear so much about the need to do well in their exams but virtually nothing on the need to invest in themselves as people, and yet that's what will set them up for success in the workplace--and in life. Young people face so many challenges during their transition to adulthood and employment. Giving them the tools to do that successfully is surely the responsibility of our society. Ofsted's report should be a wake-up call to make that a reality.