Commenting on The impact of Covid-19 on initial teacher training, a report by the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER), Kevin Courtney, Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union, said:
"More people applying to be teachers can only be a good thing. But the system must be able to retain these new teachers, as well as those who are already teaching. We are already aware of unusually high numbers of newly qualified teachers unable to find employment this September. This is a waste of talent.
"Our members tell us that stress and high workload are continuing to take their toll, and although fewer may have planned to leave when NFER surveyed in June and July, we are sure that this is because of the uncertainties of a pandemic. If teachers continue to feel unsupported by government, then the rush to leave as soon as opportunities become available elsewhere could be worse than ever.
"Teaching recruits will need a lot of support as they begin their learning. We know that experience across a range of schools is best, so a loss of placements in schools in deprived areas will in the long run damage new teachers' ability and willingness to teach in those areas. These schools experience associated disadvantage, from an increased susceptibility to local lockdowns through to having less capacity to provide mentoring and additional support to trainees. Government needs to work with these schools to understand their urgent needs, and ensure they are better able to develop the teachers of tomorrow."
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