Justine Greening speaks to school and college leaders about the teaching profession and the recruitment and retention package.

Secretary of State for Education Justine Greening

In a speech to the Association of School and College Leaders’ (ASCL) annual conference in Birmingham today (Friday 10 March), Education Secretary Justine Greening discussed her vision for the teaching profession and its role in school improvement.

Addressing the audience of school and college leaders, Justine Greening also explained how she wanted the teaching profession to embed flexible working as the norm, to help keep hold of the most talented teachers. As part of this she announced that a summit would be held later this year with teaching unions looking at ways of implementing flexible working more widely across the profession.

Education Secretary Justine Greening said:

If we really want to get great teachers into the schools that need them most – and keep them there – then we have to align the right incentives.

We need to take coherent, concrete steps to tackle the challenge in areas that need it most – beginning with a multimillion-pound investment to pilot new approaches to attracting and retaining teachers in the north of England.

Flexible working exists in most other workplaces and we need to work out how to embed it in teaching. This is about a culture shift – it won’t be the whole answer to recruitment and retention but it is definitely part of it and many schools are already demonstrating what’s possible.

Ms Greening also referred back to her commitment to strengthen qualified teacher status (QTS) and the CPD offer for the teaching profession, including:

  • making absolutely clear that QTS will not be scrapped – instead, the government will work with the sector to develop and introduce a newly strengthened QTS from September 2019, so that all school leaders will want all their teaching staff to achieve it
  • announcing the first round of bidding for the £75 million teaching and leadership innovation fund to enable new, high-quality continuing professional development (CPD) provision to be delivered where it can make the most difference, including in the 12 opportunity areas
  • new, fully revised gold-standard national professional qualifications (NPQs), developed in partnership with the teaching profession, to be implemented from September this year – funding of £10 million from the teaching and leadership innovation fund will be made available to incentivise take-up of the new NPQs for high-potential professionals working in the most challenging schools.

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