We need to change the face of teaching.
Historically speaking, no one has successfully managed to recruit experienced people into teaching and this is a colossal waste; particularly given life is getting longer and our career patterns are changing. We are living at the tail end of a world in which people will expect – or want to – completely retire in their sixties. This is central to our proposition.
In the face of a teacher recruitment crisis, we believe that Now Teach can be part of the solution. But we also believe that even without a crisis in teacher recruitment, we should be doing all we can to bring older people into classrooms. To the children they bring wisdom, experience of the world, perspective and careers advice. To the system they bring knowledge of other sectors, fresh ideas and status. In time they may offer solutions to some of the more intractable problems our schools face.
life is getting longer and our career patterns are changing
In the past too little has been done to bring experienced people into classrooms and even less to retain them. We exist not only to recruit trainees, but to make sure they stay put. In the past older trainees have dropped out at significantly higher rates than their younger peers. We tailor our recruitment process to respect and understand the leap of faith people take in even considering giving up so much to undertake a teaching career. And, we have developed a programme of wrap-around support to ensure they remain in the profession long term.
This programme includes systemic changes to improve part-time and flexible working as well as working to change some of the entry requirements for teaching. We are addressing these and using the experience of Now Teachers to inform the conversations we have with schools and the wider education sector to make becoming a teacher later in your career as straightforward and appealing as possible.
bringing different generations together for the mutual benefit of both
In a decade, retraining as a teacher will still be an extraordinary thing to do – and yet we hope it will also have become perfectly normal. Bringing different generations together for the mutual benefit of both will play a role in eradicating inequality in education.