Tackling the causes of workload, accountability and respect are key to teacher recruitment, says NEU Cymru

Wales’s largest education union has welcomed that unless the concerns around unsustainable workload, heavy handed accountability and respect for the teaching profession are addressed the problems of teacher recruitment and retention will only increase. 

National Education Union Cymru has welcomed a number of initiatives launched by the Welsh Government as initial steps to supporting the sector.  However, while the Cabinet Secretary should be praised there are historic concerns that will require a long-term vision to tackle.  The warnings come in response to figures compiled by the BBC relating to teaching posts that have failed to attract applicants in Wales.

Owen Hathway, Wales Policy Officer at the National Education Union Cymru, said: “These findings are unfortunately not surprising.  Why these individual jobs have not gathered more applications may come down to specific issues such as the timing of the advert, the location or role that is being offered.  However, there is no doubt rising workloads, cuts to teachers pay and pensions and the pressure put on the role are making it more and more difficult to recruit and retain teachers.  We are not in a crisis situation in Wales but certainly if we do not do more to respond to the concern of teacher workloads, and raise the esteem of the teaching profession, then the ingredients are there for such a crisis to occur.

“The Education Workforce Survey, published this year, showed that a significant number of the profession are considering leaving teaching in the next few years.  We also know that recruitment levels, especially in the secondary sector and in with regards to specific subjects like Welsh and the Sciences, continue to prove challenging.  We should see these figures as a further warning as to why the big issues that are putting people off taking up teaching as a career, and which are leading to teachers seeking alternative career paths, need to be met with definitive action and support.”


Press contacts:

The National Education Union is an amalgamation of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) and National Union of Teachers (NUT), formed on 1 September 2017. Please see the below contact details for assistance:

Contact: Owen Hathway, National Education Union, Tŷ Sinnott, 18 Neptune Court, Vanguard Way, Cardiff CF24 5PJ.  Tel: 029 20491818. Mob: 07921 146 442 e-mail: cymru.wales@neu.org.uk

Press release
16 November 2017