The struggle to recruit

Headteachers are finding it more and more difficult to recruit and retain teaching staff

London school leaders rate recruitment of staff as the second biggest challenge facing their schools after managing budgets. Headteachers who took part in Talking Heads, the research commissioned by London Councils, said that recruiting every type of teacher, including NQTs, classroom teachers, subject leaders and senior leaders, has become more difficult in the last five years.

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Recuitment difficulties in the last five years

Key facts

  • High living costs and property prices make recruitment and retention of teachers in London more of a challenge than elsewhere in the country
  • 94 per cent of headteachers agree that high house prices in London make it harder for teachers to remain living in the capital long term
  • More than a third (37 per cent) of teachers who left a London school last year moved to teach outside of London.

What headteachers are saying

Quotes from some of the headteachers that were interviewed:

Getting good, experienced teachers that want to work in London. It's really hard. Housing is expensive, and rightly so because there is a shortage of good teachers, they are wanting premium money. We're not able to do that so we end up in a salary war with other schools.

I, typically, because of the finances, I nearly always recruit NQTs. I lose an experienced member of staff and I save some money by recruiting down at the bottom, and that's a deliberate strategy.