The recent news story of a female employee sent home from work for her refusal to wear heels for a nine-hour shift really struck a chord with me, as I'm sure it did for many female professionals. To hear that this archaic attitude is still acceptable in many industries, particularly those located in international business hubs such as London, is concerning.
The government can play a huge role in working with schools, teachers and the education recruitment industry to offer guidance as to how flexible routes back into teaching could be offered. Certainly greater investment into CPD to allow those who have been out of the profession for some time get up to speed with curriculum changes, new classroom technologies and the latest teaching practices would be a must. But the last thing the sector needs is another expensive government-sponsored jobs board: the first time may have been tragedy, but the second time really would be farce.
Much dramatic language has been used to characterise the current crisis - it has regularly been called a 'perfect storm', a 'nightmare scenario' and a 'toxic mix'. There's certainly some truth in these descriptions. But let's leave aside the hyperbole for a moment, and consider five key reasons for the shortage.