How private business is being asked to help solve the teacher recruitment crisis

A teacher-training provider wants local companies to fund trainee teachers’ learning

Local businesses have a long history of sponsoring school libraries, summer fairs and football kits. But now they are being asked to help solve the teacher recruitment crisis.

A teacher-training provider in Southend is calling for local companies to consider sponsoring a trainee primary teacher. The move by the Essex and Thames Primary Scitt (school-centred initial teacher training) comes after it did not secure funding for 35 of the trainees that it wanted to recruit for September.

The Scitt has fallen victim to a government-imposed cap on recruitment for primary teacher trainees. But the provider may have worked out a way around it.

“Every year we get a few trainees whose parents will pay for their training or who are career-changers,” said Jo Palmer-Tweed, executive director of the Essex and Thames Primary Scitt. “What we’re doing is looking to businesses and saying: ‘Are you interested in funding teacher training in your local schools? Your local school is going to need teachers and there is going to be a shortage. If you want, you can be part of the solution by supporting a teacher through their training.’”

A spokesman for the Department for Education said: “Although we have been clear from the outset that it is necessary for us to apply controls to avoid over-recruitment, this is an excellent example of how the system allows providers to come up with innovative ways of meeting local need.

“Hopefully, local businesses will seize this opportunity to make a real contribution to their community and get involved.”

This is an edited version of an article in the 8 April edition of TES. Subscribers can view the full article here. This week’s TES magazine is available at all good newsagents. To download the digital edition, Android users can click here and iOS users can click here

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