Education chiefs reveal need for 100 teachers in Portsmouth to cope with extra 1,000 pupils

Cllr Suzy Horton, cabinet member for education and Janet Pearce, HMI Ofsted. Picture: Sarah Standing (040319-832)
Cllr Suzy Horton, cabinet member for education and Janet Pearce, HMI Ofsted. Picture: Sarah Standing (040319-832)
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TEACHERS are needed to fill 100 posts as an extra 1,000 pupils filter up into secondary schools in the city.

Education chiefs at Portsmouth City Council are aiming to woo teachers to the city as there is a national problem in recruitment and retainment.

Teacher Ryan Gibson

Teacher Ryan Gibson

This summer 15 primary and 14 secondary school teachers have left, along with six staff who were head teachers or special education needs experts.

Prospective teachers are now being offered three-day tasters in classrooms to ‘get a feel for the job’ as part of the Teach Portsmouth campaign, with 14 schools signed up offering 120 places. Starting salaries have hit £24,373.

Prospective primary and secondary teachers are now being offered three-day tasters in classrooms to ‘get a feel for the job’ as part of the Teach Portsmouth campaign, with 14 schools signed up offering 120 places. Starting salaries have hit £24,373.

Current educationalists teaching city school children have backed the move, urging others to join their ranks by the September 2021 deadline.

jpns NEWS CORRECT Teacher Charlotte Lawrence

jpns NEWS CORRECT Teacher Charlotte Lawrence

It comes as around one third of newly-qualified teachers quit the profession in the first three years.

Teacher Ryan Gibson, from Mayfield School, said: ‘The best thing about the job is every single day you go home it doesn’t matter how tired you are or how you might be feeling, there will always be something you can go “wow, I've had a positive influence on their lives”.’

Those already in the job are offering drop-in sessions and are featured on an interactive website designed to attract recruits to Portsmouth.

Charlotte Lawrence, from Craneswater Junior School, added: ‘It's a cliche, but it's the best job in the world. From 8.40am until 3pm, I'm making a difference to those children.’

Council cabinet member for education, Councillor Suzy Horton, said: ‘Sometimes the city can have low self-esteem about itself but Portsmouth is a great place to live and work as a teacher.

‘It’s a fantastic waterfront city which has affordable property and cost of living.

‘Educationally we now have more than 90 per cent of schools judged good or outstanding.

‘If I was a new teacher then I would certainly want to work in an environment like this.’

She added: ‘This scheme hopes to recruit 100 high-quality teachers, to help schools keep pace with the increase in pupil numbers over the next few years. It's a citywide recruitment drive, in addition to the everyday recruitment by schools that continues.’

Concerns remain over the impact on class sizes if the council does not hit its 100-post target.

Mike Stoneman, deputy director for children, families and education, said: ‘I am confident this will work.’

He said the Portsmouth Teaching School Alliance is already oversubscribed with another training provider’s enrolment up by 26 per cent.

More information can be found at teachportsmouth.co.uk