10 February 2016

Sheffield is no exception to the teacher shortages being discussed in the national media today. The innovative Learn Sheffield organisation was recently launched to tackle city wide issues like this, relating to education in the city. Learn Sheffield was launched in 2015 to provide flexible, high quality teaching, learning and leadership support to schools, and challenge to schools and education settings.

It is a partnership between the council and all city schools including academies, colleges and local authority maintained schools. It has been developed from Sheffield’s unique City Wide Learning Body which has been working in partnership with schools since 2011 on areas crucial to enable every child to succeed.

Stephen Betts, Interim Chief Executive of Learn Sheffield, said: “Sheffield is facing the same issues with teacher recruitment that schools are experiencing all over the country. The recruitment, development and retention of teachers is central to our vision for Sheffield, so that every child in every school can enjoy an outstanding education.

“Teaching is a challenging, but incredibly rewarding, profession, and we would encourage anyone to consider it as a career choice. Sheffield takes full advantage of national initiatives like Teach First and Schools Direct, in addition to more traditional routes, to get high quality candidates into the profession. We have outstanding universities and five Teaching School Alliances that work closely with Sheffield schools to train the next generation of Sheffield teachers.

“Learn Sheffield will work closely with all of our partners within the city to develop a strategy which makes it easier for enthusiastic individuals to identify the best route into teaching for them and support schools in retaining great teachers in the profession.”

Recent recruitment issues at Hatfield Academy highlight the importance of this work to bring more teachers into the city.

Charlotte Blencowe, Headteacher of Hatfield Academy, said: “We have experienced serious recruitment difficulties at Hatfield Academy. We have recently recruited five teachers from Canada, in order to get the number and calibre of teaching staff we need in our school.

“This may seem extreme, but we had several vacancies for a long period of time, and I have had to take a flexible approach to filling these. It is vital that you get the right teachers in a school, as ultimately if you can’t this will impact on the children’s progress, which is what we are all here to support.”