One of my first meetings as a newly-elected MP in 2015 was with the headteacher of Newfield Secondary School. I was shocked to be told that after placing a national advert for a science teacher, the school had not received a single application. I soon learned that this was not an uncommon problem.
Since then, I’ve consistently highlighted the government’s failure to recruit and retain enough teachers for our schools. Yet the problem persists. New statistics have revealed that, for the sixth year in a row, the government has failed to meet its own secondary teacher training targets.
This crisis in recruitment can’t come as a surprise after the government has imposed years of real-terms cuts on teachers pay. Over 2,700 teachers are facing another pay cut in Sheffield this year, despite government pledges to end the public sector pay cap and the Prime Minister’s claim that ‘austerity is over’.
All children deserve to receive a good education from properly-paid teachers. The next Labour government will end the Tory cuts and provide record investment in our schools, including ringfenced funding to give teachers the pay rise they deserve.