Are you thinking of a career change to move into teaching? Or already qualified and wondering which subjects are most in demand? A lot of newspaper columns have been dedicated to the ‘teacher crisis’ but what exactly is the biggest problem? Is it from the National Curriculum changes or are teachers in key subjects leaving the profession?
According to The Guardian, schools filled about half of vacant posts in 2015-2016 with qualified teachers who had the experience and expertise required. So the government will be striving to improve the education system by attracting and training new teachers and retaining existing ones in the near future.
If you are contemplating whether it is worthwhile looking at Teacher Training Cambridgeshire or doing a PGCE course, it will help to know which subjects are currently the most in demand:
• Computer Science
It is also anticipated that the foreign languages will be impacted by tougher immigration rules in the UK. So increasing numbers of vacancies, coupled with the increases in pupils (baby boom) will mean that there will be considerable vacancies for most of these subjects in the next few years, providing the budget allows for it.
When you reflect on the areas where there are problems in recruiting people with the right skills, IT is a growing issue. The topmost in-demand jobs in the UK are dominated by IT-related jobs and given the huge advances in technology we are seeing, it is a pattern that will only continue if changes are not made. So computer science will have a much bigger focus in coming years and teachers with skills and experience in this area will be in high demand. The curriculum has already been adapted to introduce coding and other important IT skills but we can expect even more changes in the near future to take into account the skills gaps in the current recruitment market.
Like with most professions, there are plenty of pros and cons in the teaching profession. A lot of former teachers attribute increased workload as to the reason for their decision to leave, as well as the greater scrutiny and pressure of Ofsted inspections and other observations/ expectations.
However, there are also many great benefits such as the long holidays – which averages around 13 weeks per year. (Although most teachers do work for at least part of these holidays!) When you compare this to other industries, where 4 weeks is common and 6 weeks is good, it is much better. The school day is much shorter than a 9-5 job and although teachers have planning, marking, assessments, meetings and tonnes of other work to do outside of these hours, having the option to sometimes leave at 3/ 3.30pm is a big bonus and can be useful for childcare arrangements. Similarly, the summer holidays are a great benefit when you consider you would otherwise be making childcare arrangements.
Whilst the salary starts relatively low, it soon increases, so if you are happy to wait a few years you will soon have a better salary. The pension package for teachers is ranked in the top 10 jobs, despite changes being made that make them less favourable than they used to be.
Then, of course, there is also the fulfilment you can get from helping pupils to develop skills and build a promising future. The sense of impact you feel when working with disadvantaged children, the joy of seeing the exam results that get them into a good college and set them up for a successful career. If you love working with children then there is no better job to do than teaching.
* Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.