Engaging and redeveloping staff

A key concern for many organisations is developing teaching capacity to deliver GCSE maths and English qualifications. However, if organisations are to be successful in meeting GCSE requirements then all staff need to be fully on-board with the policy – and the role that they play in it.

Access Abingdon and Witney’s eCPD module – GCSE Capability Staffing Toolkit for Senior leaders; designed to address the strategic issue of increasing the diversity and calibre of new maths and English teachers. The toolkit focuses on drivers and challenges, highlighting the connection between these and the strategic choices for deployment, curriculum design and uptake of training and funding opportunities.

Look at the case study from Hugh Baird College and see what they’ve done to recruit and engage staff, and how they’ve taken a ‘whole college approach’ to maths and English.

For further information, ideas and reflective questions, click on the links below.

Engaging with staff

  • All staff need to be well-informed about maths and English policy, and expectations communicated and managed unequivocally.
  • Marketing, IAG, vocational and employer-facing staff need to be up-front about maths and English requirements, and present positive messages to learners, parents and employers.

Auditing & planning staff requirements

  • Education and Training Foundation data suggests that many providers continue to experience acute difficulties recruiting maths and English teachers – and that a significant number of existing teachers have personal skills no higher than Level 2.
  • Organisations need to audit the current staff qualifications and their capacity to deliver GCSE maths and English – comparing this with the likely demand from future cohorts.
  • Smaller organisations might consider outsourcing GCSE provision or entering into collaborative arrangements – though advantages and disadvantages of such a policy need to be weighed up.

Recruit or Upskill?

  • Providers deciding not to outsource GCSE provision have options to upskill current staff or recruit new staff to fill shortfalls in capacity. Providers will need to weigh up the relative merits of each strategy.
  • Significant bursaries are available for initial teacher training of maths and English graduates (and graduates in related subjects).
  • Smaller bursaries are also available for retraining and supporting existing teachers from other subject areas who are at risk of redundancy.

Redeveloping staff

  • Through the Maths and English Pipeline, the Education and Training Foundation provides subsidised CPD opportunities to upskill maths, English and vocational teachers to teach GCSE.  Specialist teacher training qualifications are also available in many areas.
  • Providers may also want to offer opportunities for staff to improve their personal skills and gain maths and English qualifications.  The Education and Training foundation’s Foundation Learning Online provides opportunities for staff to do this in their own time.

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