Last updated: 12.05.15

Schools urged to share staff to bridge skills gap

The National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) has urged schools to share teachers in key subjects like maths and English in a bid to bridge the skills gap, after latest figures revealed a year-on-year decline of 5,000 new training teachers starting this year.

If such measures aren't taken, more children across the country will be taught by unqualified teachers and ministers will have to take steps to shut down smaller schools, which will be detrimental to both parents and staff.

In a recent speech, Russell Hobby - general secretary of the NAHT - said that headteachers must work together to help diminish the staffing crisis, since it has been forecasted that 500,000 extra pupils are due to attend schools over the next five years.

The move comes after a recent survey revealed that most schools are struggling to find skilled candidates in core subjects, with more than half of schools surveyed admitting to having vacancies in science, maths and English.

Speaking to the Guardian, John Howson - owner of job website TeachVac - said: "Schools are already facing recruitment challenges in many subjects for vacancies in September 2015.

"Another year of under-recruitment that leaves training places empty for this September will mean the recruitment situation will be even worse in 2016, especially in London and the counties around the capital.

"The incoming secretary of state will need to take urgent action to address this problem before it becomes a crisis."

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