Teacher recruitment in education is becoming more and more competitive. The challenges across the education sector show no signs of easing. So how do multi-academy trusts ensure they are attracting the best possible staff? We take a look in our latest blog.

The UK education sector is currently grappling with a significant teacher recruitment challenge. An issue that has been at the forefront of educational discussions for a considerable period. Despite widespread recognition of this problem, finding an effective solution remains a topic of intense debate.

The National Foundation for Educational Research has recently shed light on the severity of this crisis in teacher recruitment. The COVID-19 pandemic initially led to a surge in trainee teachers, but this proved to be a temporary reprieve. Alarmingly, the year 2023 witnessed the lowest enrolment in initial teacher training programs in over ten years. This decline in new teachers entering the profession is cause for serious concern.

Teaching staff shortages are untenable.

Moreover, the number of teaching vacancies in 2023 escalated dramatically, showing a two-thirds increase compared to the levels seen before the pandemic. This surge in vacancies is a critical issue. Despite the best efforts of school leaders to mitigate the impact on educational quality, the shortage of teaching staff is becoming increasingly untenable.

Adding to the complexity of the situation, teaching unions in England and Northern Ireland have announced further strikes, having rejected the government’s offer for a pay rise. In Wales, the National Education Union (NEU) has accepted the government’s deal, but the National Association for Head Teachers (NAHT) continues to resist, engaging in actions such as limiting email communications and refusing to partake in evening meetings or staff appraisals since February 1st.

In response to these escalating challenges, the Education Committee has initiated a new public inquiry focused on teacher recruitment, training, and retention. This inquiry aims to identify the core issues plaguing these areas and to assess the potential impact of various solutions, such as financial incentives, workload reduction initiatives, and enhanced mental health support for educators.

Given the current competitive climate, the question arises: How can multi-academy trusts effectively attract new talent and retain their existing staff members? While sector-wide changes are bound to take time, many trusts are in urgent need of immediate solutions to their teacher recruitment challenges.

Delve into the proactive steps below that trusts can undertake to ensure they remain competitive employers and attract the best talent available.

Define and communicate your trust’s vision and values clearly during teacher recruitment communications.

This is vital in shaping the perception of your trust and should encapsulate a positive, supportive environment that staff members aspire to be part of. A clear articulation of your ethos can significantly influence potential staff members’ decisions.

Prioritise and actively support staff with continuous professional development (CPD) and opportunities beyond the classroom.

Showcasing your commitment to staff development is crucial. It’s important to not only advertise these opportunities but also to ensure they are meaningful and tailored to individual career aspirations. This approach demonstrates a deep understanding of the importance of professional growth and development in the education sector.

Emphasise the importance of staff wellbeing, including both mental and physical health.

The significant amount of time spent at work by educators makes it imperative to create a work environment free from excessive stress or anxiety. Communicating your strategies for supporting staff wellbeing, reducing workloads, and preventing burnout is essential. An open and honest environment where staff can freely discuss their health concerns can significantly contribute to a positive workplace culture.

Make the recruitment process as pleasant, straightforward, and supportive as possible.

The complexity of teacher recruitment procedures, including compliance and data collection, can often be overwhelming for potential candidates. Streamlining these processes, digitizing application systems, and ensuring clear communication channels for support can greatly enhance the applicant experience. This not only makes the process more efficient but also signals your commitment to being a supportive employer from the outset.

In summary, multi-academy trusts need to adopt a proactive approach to attract new talent and retain their current staff. By clearly communicating their values, supporting staff development, prioritising wellbeing, and simplifying teacher recruitment processes, trusts can position themselves as attractive and supportive employers.

Taking the next step.

This comprehensive approach can make a significant difference in how your trust is perceived in the competitive education sector. If you’re seeking guidance on implementing these strategies or wish to discuss further how they can benefit your trust, we encourage you to reach out to Eduprise for tailored support and advice.