Response to The Times article 'More Teachers, please'

In response to The Times editorial 'More Teachers, please' on 9th January - Anna Richards, our Executive Leader has sent The Times a letter which we think presents a more balanced view of what is needed to help with teacher recruitment than The Times presented in their editorial 'More Teachers, please.' 


Dear Editor,

Further to your editorial ‘More Teachers, Please’ published on 9th January, I would like to respectfully point out that Teach First is not the only ITT provider who ‘pitches the profession as a challenging, elite career.’ 

Suffolk and Norfolk SCITT (School Centred Initial Teacher Training) is the largest SCITT in the country and has been training teachers for over twenty years to work in local schools. Our SCITT is based in the two of the twelve educational priority areas, Ipswich and Norwich, and yet we have still maintained our average of training well over 200 primary and secondary trainees each year who nearly all find employment in schools locally. We also have more ‘career changers’ in our secondary cohort than ever before. Despite being in an area of educational priority, we have already been recruiting and training professionals from other careers to enter the teaching profession, just like Now Teach which has recently received extra government funding. 

With regards to improving the profession’s reputation being not left to the government alone, I would point out that the media have a significant part to play in promoting the positive image of teaching too. I would tentatively suggest that the national and local media should start sharing some of the positive stories about the impact that fantastic teachers have on the lives of young people on a daily basis. Reporting on the specific effect of teachers might not only make a refreshing change from hearing about Brexit but it would highlight what a positive career choice teaching can be. The national recruitment figures suggest that all of us involved in education could do with some ‘help’ in transforming the image of teaching to one that is current and representative of the quality of teaching that goes on in many, many schools.

Do get in touch and we will be happy to share with you and your readers a positive view of teaching so they can find out the difference that a teacher can make on a daily basis. 

Best wishes

Anna Richards 

Executive Leader, Suffolk and Norfolk SCITT

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