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Staffing shortages
22

Cat1nthehat · 25/11/2018 21:22

I am HOD in a secondary school. We have a massive teacher shortage in my subject. Been advertising since before the summer and only a couple of applications from totally unsuitable candidates.
I am so stressed,I’m writing cover lessons til they are coming out of my ears, trying to cover all exam groups myself but it’s not always possible due to the timetable. It’s a practical subject and I have days where I’m covering 5 practical lessons a day, plus 2 after school clubs a week, marking of NEA for all the groups. Ive no idea how to reduce workload without having a significant impact on the pupils.
Where can I find staff. I have no idea what to do about staffing and feel like I’ve exhausted every avenue. There’s just nobody out there

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Littlefish · 25/11/2018 21:27

I have no practical ideas for you, but lots of sympathy.

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Piggywaspushed · 25/11/2018 21:39

Finding the staff is not your job or responsibility. that is what the head is paid silly money to do... has s/he done anything to support you at all?

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SmileEachDay · 29/11/2018 19:03

If the workload is taking you over directed time, you have to look after yourself.

I know the children are the priority, but sometimes if we pick up the slack too much, those in a position to change things just...don’t...

I am right up to my allocation of teaching lessons plus HoD time - if I have to cover, I get the time back by not cancelling my attendance one of the many scheduled meetings. My LM with the Head is usually the first one to go, because otherwise I can’t meet with my team, who deserve the support.

I work really friggin hard, but I won’t let SLT take the piss.

How many lessons are you teaching?

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SmileEachDay · 29/11/2018 19:03

*by cancelling

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Cat1nthehat · 29/11/2018 19:15

Head is doing everything they can do find staff, being very supportive. There are just literally no teachers around. It’s frustrating,its a very good school, excellent behaviour etc.
I have no idea how many lessons I’m teaching, loads as supply cant do practical lessons and the pupils need the practical element to pass their GCSEs. 5 KS4 groups, 2 ks5 group then all the KS3 groups.
It’s just a rubbish situation with sadly no end in sight and quite honestly the only end I can see is me leaving which is going to put the school in an even worse situation.

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Cauliflowersqueeze · 29/11/2018 19:19

Cut the clubs.

Cut the marking as much as possible.

No other advice - sounds a terrible situation. There are a lot of staffing shortages - and I think it will get worse as well.

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Bobbiepin · 29/11/2018 19:22

Would you mind sharing subject and a rough location? Some people on here may be looking to move if the job is right?

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SmileEachDay · 29/11/2018 19:23

That is not ok.

You cannot he expected to teach that much.

They need to cut it back to just essential groups. So all the KS3 could stop practicals and be covered, for a start.

The head might be lovely, but the support you need is not teaching everyone.
How many lessons a week for exam classes? I’m guessing 3 if it’s an options subject?

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FritataPatate · 29/11/2018 19:24

Why are you doing after school activities??

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MissSusanScreams · 29/11/2018 19:25

Are you in Art and Design? I’ve heard it is a major shortage but no one is bothering with it at the moment.

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Holidayshopping · 29/11/2018 19:31

The head at our local school emailed the parents at the end of the summer term having advertised three times for maths teachers and received no applicants, and asked if anyone knew anyone who would be prepared to step in.

Things are shockingly bad.

Yet there is a thread currently running on AIBU with over 700 posts where a lovely head teacher somewhere has personally given each of his teachers a wellbeing day by covering their classes himself; many of the replies are bitching about it saying that it’s ridiculous-teachers don’t work any harder than anyone else, their pay reflects their large number of holidays and they just don’t deserve it.

When are people going to stop their venomous attitude towards teachers in their frantic race to the bottom, and realise how shit things really are.

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Slipperboots · 29/11/2018 20:09

Is there no good supply about. We’ve had supply teachers in who haven’t wanted jobs again but often being in the school and being able to negotiate days they have changed their minds.

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Cat1nthehat · 29/11/2018 21:48

It’s Food tech and in the south east. I have supply but they aren’t consistently there every day.

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Acopyofacopy · 30/11/2018 18:45

You need to stop working yourself into the ground. Yes, students need their practicals, but staffing is not your job.

On a more constructive note: are you in any kind of school consortium and could you borrow a teacher from a friendly neighbouring school? Could pupils be ferried to other schools for their lessons?

If the staffing situation remains the same, you need to make sure now that your subject cannot be timetabled for everybody as usual next year.

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CraftyGin · 30/11/2018 21:51

You need to cut the after school clubs.

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CraftyGin · 30/11/2018 21:57

Why can’t qualified supply teachers cover practical lessons?

In my supply year, I did practical science.

I have also covered Home Economics during a Colleague’s 4-week absence (iirc, 3 regular members of staff taught her lessons). There was little disadvantage to the students.

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Cauliflowersqueeze · 01/12/2018 10:53

There aren’t many qualified supply teachers around

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CraftyGin · 01/12/2018 13:37

Eh?

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Bestseller · 01/12/2018 13:44

Food tech is taught by unqualified teachers in my school. They're very good and get excellent results but don't come from the kind of background where university was automatic, so gaining qualification is a long process for them. TBF, they probably come from a similar pool as most of the children taking food tech at GCSE. Without being rude, an academic education is perhaps not so important in this subject as some others?

Something to consider?

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NewName54321 · 01/12/2018 15:33

The Head is not doing everything they can.
If you are in an Academy Chain, what are they doing about the situation?

Is there nobody already in school who can teach the practical sessions?
It would be cheaper to uplift a TA who has the practical skills (surely someone knows how to cook and can handle a class?) to HLTA or unqualified teacher status for the rest of this academic year and employ a temporary TA to cover their role, rather than keep using supply that is unreliable and can't do what the school is paying them to do. Could they teach the practical and you teach the theory?

Why is there no previous years planning to re-use?
If it's due to curriculum changes, is there another school who can share their planning with you?

Drop the after-school clubs.

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Cat1nthehat · 01/12/2018 19:39

  1. I have put supply in on practical sessions and we had so many parental complaints the head asked me not to unless absolutely necessary.
  2. I have schemes of work in place but the weekly/bi weekly planning is difficult as it changes according to what staffing there is, what practicals are taking place, for example I planned all of Friday then found out I had generic cover rather than specialist cover so had to rejig and replan lessons as the planned lessons were not suitable for cover
  3. We are the only secondary school in my academy chain
  4. We have talked about training from within this may be something we end up doing
  5. I teach in a very academic school and the gcse is very science based. The results are historically very good. I just don’t want the kids to fail or end up hating the subject.
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MrsMiggel · 01/12/2018 19:51

It’s not that there’s nobody out there - people just don’t want to do the job for the salary that’s on offer. I’m a fully qualified teacher but I choose not to teach. The salary is too low and there’s too much unpaid work that I’m required to do on top of paid hours. I can earn more in retail because they actually pay me for the hours I work. Until they decide to pay teachers properly and manage workloads this situation will continue.

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