Some primary schools will have teacher vacancies for the new term

A LACK of candidates means there will be unfilled fixed-term contracts in primary schools in September for the first time in three years.

Deputy Yvonne Burford asked questions about primary school teaching vacancies. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 31093000)
Deputy Yvonne Burford asked questions about primary school teaching vacancies. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 31093000)

Eight posts remained vacant at the end of term, three of which were part-time permanent positions.

Six permanent learning support assistant posts were also unfilled at the end of the summer term.

In reply to Rule 14 questions from Deputy Yvonne Burford, Education, Sport & Culture said that the number of applicants qualified to teach in the primary phase usually had outnumbered vacancies, and often were locally qualified, but this year had seen a deficit.

‘For the first time in three years, there has been a deficit of candidates to fill the fixed term contract posts for this September,’ ESC said.

In response to this, a recruitment programme had been instigated and the on-island initial teaching programme will be enhanced for the 2023 intake.

‘A more strategic approach to recruitment and retention within the primary phase is being developed.

‘However, it is important to note that recent recruitment campaigns have been successful in making local appointments to the majority of teacher and LSA vacancies within the States-maintained primary schools.’

In anticipation of the end of the academic year, there had been 24 teacher vacancies, including full-time permanent positions, and seven LSA vacancies.

Although it was not possible to provide the number of teacher applications received in previous years, ESC said that this year, 13 primary school teachers applied and 11 were invited for interview. This compares to 53 invited for interview in 2019 and 38 in 2018.

It was also revealed that in the past five academic years, just over 75% of primary and secondary teacher leavers resigned, and 24% left due to retirement or the end of their contracts.

In the past four years, 63 primary and secondary school teacher leavers have chosen to complete an online exit survey.

More than 35% of these said they left due to family commitments, with 30% leaving due to the cost of living and just over 30% leaving due to work-life balance. Just over 20% left because they wanted career progression.

In April, Deputy Gavin St Pier asked questions about secondary school staffing, and ESC said 16.6% of States secondary school teachers had resigned during the school year.

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