What are the challenges in Doncaster?
Primary and secondary headteachers report difficulties in attracting and retaining talented teachers to the borough, citing examples of where good staff have left after only a short time in post to work in to work in other parts of the region. Two of the four priorities in our plan focus on the need for quality teaching in schools, particularly those situated in areas of high deprivation and include a strong focus on teacher retention.
To complement this, we want to improve the strategy for recruiting the best new teachers, something that is crucial to raising educational outcomes in Doncaster – particularly for those pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds. As part of the links with the South Yorkshire Futures programme, we have a unique opportunity to think about a recruitment strategy on a regional basis.
What are we doing?
We are raising awareness of Teach First as an alternative route into teaching and encourage more schools to take up placements. We will host an event for headteachers to hear about the scheme and use case study examples to demonstrate the benefits of graduate placements in schools.
We will create a highly motivated teaching workforce. Through the Partnerships for Attainment project – a collaborative project between Sheffield Hallam University, The University of Sheffield, Doncaster SCITT (school centred initial teacher training), Sheffield SCITT and the Modern Languages SCITT – we will develop a new approach for recruitment to initial teacher training and attract more high quality people who are keen to work across the schools in Doncaster. Within this project, we will also develop a consistent approach to newly qualified teacher and recently qualified teacher support in Doncaster to ensure that all new teachers have access to the support that they need.
We will maximise the impact of Doncaster’s status as part of the ‘Get into Teaching’ campaign. The generous, tax-free funding available will lead to a lot of focus locally on recruiting into the profession.