Matt Rodda asks government how it plans to improve teacher recruitment and retention

Reading East MP Matt Rodda (Labour) used a debate in Parliament on 11 December to ask the Secretary of State for Education, Justine Greening (Conservative), how the government plans to address teacher recruitment and retention problems.

Matt Rodda referenced the 2017 school teacher’s review body report, partly produced by the Department for Education, which said:

Our analysis of earnings shows that average starting salaries and profession-wide earnings remain considerably lower for teaching than for other graduate professions.

The overall target for recruitment to Initial Teacher Training was
missed in 2016/17 for the fifth successive year, and the specific targets for most secondary subjects were missed.

The number of qualified teachers leaving the profession for reasons other than retirement has continued to rise, and teacher retention rates have deteriorated…

The number of schools reporting teacher vacancies and temporarily filled posts has also increased markedly over the last five years.

The cumulative impact of these factors creates a real risk that schools will not be able to recruit and retain a workforce of high quality teachers to support pupil achievement.

We are particularly concerned about this because demographic trends indicate rising pupil numbers and therefore rising demand for teachers in the coming years.

In in the Teacher Recruitment and Retention debate, Matt Rodda asked:

I draw her [Education Secretary Justine Greening’s] attention to the situation in my constituency and the evidence from the School Teachers’ Review Body, which has stated that there is “a real risk that schools will not be able to recruit and retain a workforce of high quality teachers to support pupil achievement.”

It says that is particularly the case given the predicted increase in pupil numbers. What action have the Government taken to address teacher recruitment and retention? Will she meet me and local heads to discuss this matter?

The Secretary of State Justine Greening replied:

Retention rates are broadly stable over a 20-year period. In fact, the overall vacancy rate for all teachers is about 0.3%.

The hon. Gentleman [Matt Rodda] asks what we are doing on the quality of the people coming into teaching, and I can tell him that the proportion of ​people entering teaching with a degree or a higher qualification is now 98.5, which represents a 4.3% increase since 2010. Indeed, 19% of this year’s cohort of trainees have first-class degrees, which is a higher proportion than in any of the past five years.

Sourced from

  1. Matt Rodda
  2. Matt Rodda at TheyWorkForYou
  3. Matt Rodda’s website
  4. School teachers’ review body
  5. Matt Rodda holds Government to account on teacher shortages in Reading