DfE teacher pay proposals unlikely to solve teacher supply problems in STEM subjects – FE News

New search by the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) reveals that the Department for Education (DfE) proposals on teacher pay, combined with other financial incentives such as the ‘leveling up bonus’, are unlikely to result in an adequate supply of teachers in England in 2022-25, particularly in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

The study, commissioned by the Gatsby Foundation, suggests that the initial teacher education (ITT) recruitment target for mathematics could be met within the next four years – but is unlikely to be met by physics, chemistry, computer science and in the three science subjects combined.

According to research, the attractiveness of teacher compensation is important for ITT recruitment. The study estimates that a 1% increase in the starting salary of teaching – in addition to changing the starting salary of graduates teaching outside – is associated with a 2% increase in the number of ITT candidates. This suggests that an increase in salaries could have a real impact on the recruitment of teachers, as well as on their retention.

The study also suggests that the government should introduce additional financial incentives to improve the supply of teachers, including increasing bursaries and applying the Early Career Retention Payment to all teachers of shortage subjects in England. It recommends that for some STEM subjects, combinations of additional financial measures could support improving the supply of teachers.

The research highlights that Physics and Computing are highly unlikely to meet their recruiting goals within a reasonable set of financial metrics. To address this problem, the education system could consider additional measures, including: specialized training in physics for trainees and classroom teachers; ensure that physics teachers are deployed to teach physics rather than other subjects, and respond to the relatively low number of students studying physics at A level and as part of an undergraduate degree.

Report co-author and NFER School Workforce Manager Jack Worth said:

“While the average salary in the UK is expected to rise by 5.3% this year, increasing teachers’ salaries by an average of 3.9% will only exacerbate the teacher supply problems that were prevalent before. the pandemic and which quickly reappeared. The DfE’s proposal to target higher pay increases for early career teachers makes sense, but our analysis shows that the overall financial package is still very likely to leave the sector short of the new teachers it needs.

“Especially for shortage subjects such as physics, chemistry and computer science, more actions to improve the supply of teachers are needed, whether financial or non-financial. Failure to act will lead to a growing shortage of teachers, which is likely to have a negative impact on the quality of STEM education in England.

Jenni French, Head of Teacher Programs at The Gatsby Foundation, said:

“This important work is further evidence of the impact that financial incentives can have on the supply of teachers. This research and others funded by Gatsby have demonstrated various ways the government could use salaries, scholarships and retention payments to increase the number of students who are taught by specialist teachers. I hope that the thoughtful recommendations set out in today’s report will be given serious consideration.

Key findings of the report include:

  • The strength of the broader labor market matters for teacher recruitment, with research showing that a one percentage point fall in the UK unemployment rate (i.e. a labor market stronger) is estimated to be associated with a 6% decrease in ITT applicants.
  • There is strong and consistent evidence that training grants are associated with increased ITT recruitment, with previous studies consistently finding that a 2.9% increase in ITT applications is associated with every additional £1,000 of scholarship.

The report’s recommendations include:

  • The School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB) should consider recommending an overall increase in teacher pay of more than 3.9% in 2022/23, to keep teacher pay competitive and support the supply of teachers. ‘teachers.
  • The DfE should consider increasing scholarships in shortage subjects to a maximum of £30,000 and extending the ‘leveling bonus’ to apply to teachers working in schools across England , to further improve the recruitment and retention of early career teachers.
  • As part of its future evidence at the STRB, the DfE is expected to publish full impact assessments of its compensation and financial incentive proposals on overall teacher supply. Where an impact assessment suggests that the supply is unlikely to be met, the DfE should set out the financial and non-financial measures taken to improve the supply of teachers, particularly in subjects which are not expected to reach their respective goals.

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