Reaction to Labour Party’s plans to scrap academies
Following The Labour Party’s reported shift to a more hard-line policy on schools, and subsequent pledge to scrap the current academies system – where institutions operate outside of local authority networks and are increasingly grouped together in trusts – an education recruiter has warned of the risk of intensifying existing teacher shortages.
Currently 66% of secondary schools and 29% of primaries operate as Academies, with more than 1,000 more conversions in the pipeline.
Commenting on the proposals, Baljinder Kuller, who has over 15 years’ experience in education recruitment with local authorities and private sector agencies, and is now Managing Director of online supply teacher portal, The Supply Register, said: “In our experience, teachers are increasingly seeing the benefits of working for Academies and I fear that this move has the potential to bring more uncertainty to an already volatile market.
"While we certainly support the Labour Party’s intention to ‘improve standards’ and ‘empower staff’, we must be careful not to curtail the great work many Academy Trust HR and resourcing teams have done in building attractive employee value propositions which have both promoted education as a career of choice and helped retain teachers in the profession.
“Skills shortages within education are well documented and many Multi-Academy Trusts (MATs) are building systems where they share talent pools to overcome staffing challenges.
"Academies continue to be destinations of choice for many teachers, and the workforce remodelling work which has been done to create MAT values and cultures over the years risks being undone if under-resourced local authorities are tasked with rebuilding services without the resources they need.”