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School staffing challenges continue

School staffing challenges continue

Tuesday 28 March 2023

School staffing challenges continue

Tuesday 28 March 2023


Guernsey's primary schools "should" be fully staffed from September, but there will likely be continuing gaps in staffing across the island's secondary schools.

The Director of Education has told Express that staff are trying new ways to recruit teachers, including by engaging new agencies across the world as well as in the UK.

Nick Hynes said those new agencies are already providing promising applicants.

"It's fair to say that we've had some gaps in recruitment in some areas, most particularly in secondary schools across those subjects which nationally and internationally are hard to recruit to," he said.

"We've got some adverts out for teachers in maths, science, computer science, but we're not alone in finding it challenging to support those roles at the moment.

"We are doing something which we haven't done before in working with different recruitment agencies across the world, and in England, and we're starting to get a greater number of applications, even in those areas which have been challenging before."

Mr Hynes said the challenges facing Guernsey schools are matched elsewhere meaning recruitment is more competitive as well as challenging.

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Pictured: Nick Hynes, Director of Education.

"We're reaching out to different agencies to work with new partners, so reaching out and working in a different way than we've done before with our recruitment and we're getting more applications in than we've had in the past, but it's hard. It's hard everywhere. England and Jersey are in exactly the same position," he said.

The challenges are mostly facing the secondary sector with Mr Hynes saying he doesn't anticipate having similar problems in the primary sector.

A pool process is used for applicants to primary school roles in the island meaning applicants are matched with vacant roles, rather than applying directly for a specific job at a specific school.

"I'm confident that we'll have all primary roles filled before September," said Mr Hynes, as applications for those jobs closed on Friday.

"There may continue to be some gaps in the secondaries, and where we say gaps it doesn't mean there's no teacher. It means we might not have a permanent teacher, it might mean we have an agency teacher in place.

"If we have a gap in modern foreign languages, or maths, or science, or English, we have a long term supply agency we use, and we'll have a temporary or fixed term teacher in post while we recruit."

Mr Hynes has also acknowledged ongoing problems with the number of supply teachers available for work in the islands. 

He said some past supply teachers have moved into permanent roles. But he's hoping that by opening up new training opportunities they may be able to fill any gaps across the supply register as well as across the permanent teaching staff.

"We're starting to build up that supply workforce again," he said, "but that's slow as we recognise that sometimes primary schools are saying they haven't got enough supply teachers so we are working on that.

"From September we've got a really exciting initial teacher training programme where we're going to be training our own teachers on-island in conjunction with Middlesex University on an annual basis."

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Pictured: Candidates can choose whether to qualify to primary or secondary level through the new on-island course.

Education, Sport & Culture announced the course validation last month, saying it’s more attractive than the equivalent in the UK where payment is required to register. 

Trainees will receive either a bursary or a salary, if they are already a member of education staff, from the States. 

Most of the training will be on the job across at least two education settings, and accreditation is available for primary and secondary education.

Further information can be obtained from the programme lecturer at Kirsty.Cluett@gov.gg.

Read more...

Hopes for more home-grown teachers

Teacher training to be re-launched locally

Education seeks new cohort of trainee teachers for on-Island scheme

College lecturers secure advanced qualifications

Primary schools see increase in unfilled teacher vacancies

Computer science students without a teacher

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