On the same day as Secretary of State for Education, Damian Hinds, delivered his first major speech to the teaching profession, highlighting teacher recruitment and retention as his top priority, Herts for Learning (HfL) hosted its fourth annual Teach in Herts Teacher Recruitment Fair on behalf of Hertfordshire schools.
The award-winning Teach in Herts Teacher Recruitment Fair was held at Hertfordshire Development Centre in Stevenage on Saturday 10th March.
With 72 Hertfordshire schools in attendance representing hundreds of schools within their district clusters, visitors had the opportunity to speak face-to-face with school and educational representatives from across the county about routes into the teaching profession and current teaching vacancies.
In addition to this, there were representatives from Hertfordshire’s teaching school alliances, school direct providers as well as the University of Hertfordshire and the University of Cambridge and UK Naric who support the accurate conversion of overseas teaching qualifications.
Workshops were provided by the Department for Education (DfE) on Routes into Teaching and Returning to Teaching as well as others run by HfL advisors and Headteachers, supported by NQTs and School Direct teachers new in post.
This was the second Teach in Herts Teacher Recruitment Fair of 2018. In February, the fair took place in Watford for the first time targeting potential teachers from London and the suburbs around the M25 ring.
Speaking about this year’s fairs, Anne Taylor, Head of Recruitment Services at HfL, said:
“Hertfordshire is a great place to teach, whatever stage of your teaching career you are at. We were really pleased to attract over 500 potential candidates to both of our teacher recruitment fairs this year, who were interested in either finding out more about moving to a career in teaching or current teacher vacancies in Hertfordshire.”
“Hundreds of Hertfordshire schools were represented at both fairs and we are delighted that, once again, schools are planning to recruit from the candidates they have met at the Teach in Herts events. At Herts for Learning, we plan to continue with these highly successful recruitment fairs in the future, as well as continuing to look at other ways to ensure that schools and academies across Hertfordshire have access to high-quality teachers.”
The latest percentage of Hertfordshire schools rated good or outstanding by Ofsted was 90.8%, two percent higher than the national average. The percentage of schools rated good or outstanding for personal development, behaviour and welfare was 95.5%, 1.4 percent higher than the national average.
Teacher recruitment and retention was the main focus of Damian Hinds’ speech at Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) annual conference in Birmingham on Saturday morning. He discussed how, although the UK currently has the ‘best generation of teachers’, with rising pupil numbers and a competitive employment market, the employment and retention of teachers is difficult for schools.
“There can be no great schools without great teachers… to motivate children, to make knowledge meaningful, to inspire curiosity. The quality of teaching matters more than anything else; and it matters even more for disadvantaged pupils,” said Damian.
“Right now, we have so many brilliant teachers in our schools – the best generation of teachers yet. And my top priority is to make sure this does remain an attractive and fulfilling profession.”
Commenting on Damian Hinds’ speech Andrew de Csilléry, Managing Director at Herts for Learning, said:
“We are pleased that the Secretary of State for Education recognises that teacher recruitment and retention is the number one challenge that schools face, not only in Hertfordshire but nationally, and agrees that this is a top priority for the education sector.”
“At Herts for Learning, we work collaboratively with our shareholding schools and academies to help them find and retain high-quality teaching staff, assisting them with the recruitment process and providing excellent training and development opportunities for staff at all levels of their teaching careers. Currently, we have 247 teaching vacancies across Hertfordshire and we very much welcome the renewed focus from the Government on this major priority.”
For details of the latest teacher vacancies in Hertfordshire, as well as information on how to get into teaching, please visit the Teach in Herts website.