Ex-teachers to return to Essex classrooms

PUBLISHED: 22:33 26 March 2017 | UPDATED: 22:33 26 March 2017

Dozens of ex-teachers are returning to their calling following a successful campaign to tackle staffing shortages across Essex schools.

The Return to Teaching campaign was launched by Essex County Council last month to encourage former teachers back into the county’s classrooms, after recognising the challenges of returning to a much changed education system.

Smashing its initial target of attracting between ten and 24 participants onto the intensive course, the campaign saw 40 former teachers starting on it today (Thursday, March 23).

Getting up-to-date with the curriculum, assessment and teaching practices are on the agenda with the aim of giving participants the confidence, knowledge and support they need to return to top of the class.

The course includes three full days of professional development, as well as support with job applications and interview preparation.

A strategic group made up of representatives from Essex County Council, the Association of Secondary Headteachers in Essex, the Essex Primary Headteachers’ Association, Essex Special School Education Trust and the Diocese of Chelmsford Vine Schools Trust, has been set up to fund the course and explore and implement new teacher recruitment and retention strategies in Essex.

Having originally provided funding for up to 24 people to take part in the programme, the group was delighted to offer additional funding following the high level of interest the campaign generated.

Cllr Ray Gooding, Essex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Education and Lifelong Learning, said: “A strong supply of good quality teachers is vital in ensuring pupils in Essex continue to receive the best possible education.

“We actively support the county’s schools with the ongoing challenge of recruitment and are delighted so many former teachers have shown an interest in this latest initiative.

“A number of talented teachers leave the teaching profession every year and enticing some of them back would be a big boost for schools.

“Our campaign has attracted a variety of different primary and secondary-trained former teachers, including those who left to raise a family, pursue another career or previously taught elsewhere in Europe.

“We wish them all the best of luck with the programme and hope they will be in a strong position to apply for teaching jobs for September.”

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