Nick Gibb: There is ‘no morale problem’ in teaching

There is no evidence that teaching is “a profession with a morale problem”, schools minister Nick Gibb has told MPs.

Speaking to a Commons Education Select Committee inquiry into the well-publicised problems with teacher supply, he said the numbers and quality of new recruits to the profession were rising.

“This isn’t evidence of a profession in crisis, or a profession with a morale problem,” he said today.

His comments came after the NAHT headteachers’ union published a survey showing that 79 per cent of schools that had advertised vacancies said recruitment was a problem.

Russell Hobby, general secretary of the NAHT, told the same committee that heads felt there was a shortage of quality teachers but used “coping strategies”.

“You can’t have an empty classroom, so you have to make it work,” he said. “Whether you have the person you wanted in front of the children is another matter.”

The government has introduced bursaries of up to £30,000 to tempt people into teaching and is piloting a programme to draw former teachers back into the classroom.

It is also trying to tackle retention by setting working groups to deal with the issues such as marking and data management, which were raised in last year’s Workload Challenge.

Nick Gibb said that the government was “looking at every single aspect of policy” in order to get people into teaching.

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