They say there ‘s never a bus and then 6 come at once. Well in our recent history – since the recession – there have not been any buses in the last 4 years – and then 7 come at once – there ‘s a bus at the stop, one behind that waiting to get in one slowing down behind that and as far as the eye can see buses, buses and buses!

For the first time in some time, the job market for us and teachers registered with us looks really rosey! Customers who we have not heard from since 2007 have been calling us again, schools and academies have been reporting very high numbers of “no shows” at interviews ( a sign that each of their interviewees has received several offers ) and TES adverts just don’t yield enough good applicants for schools to appoint. It hasn’t been so good for teaching agencies and their registrants for years. In this article we offer a couple of explanations and try to hazards predictions about what will happen in the near future.

My immediate thought – based on what I hear anecdotally from teachers and managers in schools and academies – was that perhaps academies have simply pushed new, more stringent working conditions to a point where staff are leaving the academy education system. I did hear some reports that this was happening – even when teachers had no other role to go into. I had one question – and that was – since everyone needs a job to survive financially, surely most people would have to have another role to take on and, if that were true there would have to be a lifting of this recession which has plagued us for so long – and for which there seems little evidence of a dramatic recovery. In short – if teachers are leaving teaching in such high numbers – there has to be an increase in alternative work – or a greater desire to claim jobseekers allowance than to teach in todays secondary education institutions.

The second explanation – which was mentioned by 2 Head Teachers – is certainly partly responsible and maybe a temporary problem only. There has been a collapse in the number of trainee teachers this year as a result of Gove’s planned changes to teacher training. From what I understand he is insisting that teachers should now be trained in-house ( in schools ) rather than being university based. This would seem sensible – all other things being equal – especially had the policy been implemented properly. However schools have not taken one as many trainees as anticipated and Universities had half of their funding removed – so they did not take on as many trainees either.

As an example, Christ’s at Canterbury has 750 students instead of 1500 – and not one is a mathematician. This explains, why even desireable schools and academies have received very poor fields from TES adverts.

This could be fixed fairly soon – but it may take a few years for the new system to get going – and when it does get going – perhaps the shadow of this recession will have lifted.

We also noted that this June and July daily teachers were generally booked – and we received fewer calls from teachers hunting down daily roles after study leave this year indicating a greater use of daily supply – which in turn indictates a great level of fatigue, unreliability and or courses and day trip spending by institutions.

You can go and enjoy a holiday this year – knowing your skills are likely to be more highly valued next year. Well done for waiting for the buses they always arrive in the end!

Have a happy, Sunny and relaxing holiday.