Essex former teachers return to classroom as council looks to plug recruitment gap

PUBLISHED: 16:53 06 June 2017 | UPDATED: 16:53 06 June 2017

Teacher talking with students

Teacher talking with students

Archant

Dozens of former teachers are a step closer to returning to the classroom after completing a course designed to tackle the school recruitment challenge.

Ray Gooding Ray Gooding

The Essex County Council Return to Teaching programme began in March with 40 ex-teachers from various backgrounds, aiming to help participants get up-to-date with curriculum and assessment changes and teaching practice.

Six participants have already been successful in securing teaching posts, while a number of others have lined up interviews with a view to a September start.

Helen Hodges was one of the participants to successfully secure a teaching post and starts at Rickling Primary School, in Rickling Green, this week.

Helen left the profession ten years ago to have her three children and was keen to get back into the classroom.

Helen, 43, said: “You lose your confidence after ten years out so the course was very useful in developing my confidence and covered lots of stuff that you would need to know to go back into the classroom.

“Good teaching and practices don’t change, but obviously there have been changes to the curriculum and assessment in that time.

“There was lots of good stuff looking at the curriculum and learning plans.”

The programme was funded by a strategic group set up to explore and implement new teacher recruitment and retention strategies in Essex.

The council launched the programme after recognising how daunting the decision to return to the classroom can be.

Councillor Ray Gooding, Essex County Council’s cabinet member for education, said: “A strong supply of good quality teachers is vital in ensuring children in Essex continue to receive the best possible education, particularly as pupil numbers continue to grow.

“We work closely with the county’s schools to help them with the ongoing challenge of recruitment and are delighted we have been able to give former teachers the confidence and knowledge to return to the profession.

“A number of talented teachers leave every year and if we can entice some of them back to the classroom then that would be a big boost for the county’s schools.”

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