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Workforce Planning in the Education Sector

Initial Findings

Simon McIntyre

on 17 September 2012

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Transcript of Workforce Planning in the Education Sector

Initial Findings Workforce Planning in the Education Sector Teaching is by far the largest employer of graduates in Australia.

The number of people working as teachers has grown by over 20 000 (8%) in the five years since 2001, or about 4 000 people per year (ABS, 2007). Underlying this net growth are large flows of people entering and leaving teaching each year.

Research indicates that, of those variables potentially open to policy influence, teachers and teaching are the most important factors in student learning (OECD, 2005).

As the OECD (2005) has observed, all countries face challenges in ensuring that teachers are able to meet the demands of more diverse student populations, higher expectations of schools, expanding fields of knowledge, and new types of responsibilities.

Significant concerns exist about replacing the large numbers of teachers and leaders expected to retire during the next 5 to 10 years – and also about supporting the large numbers of new people likely to enter teaching (OECD, 2005).

Teaching is clearly a very important profession. Teacher demand and supply issues affect many people, and can have substantial implications for the quality of learning, curriculum provision, and school budgets.
(DEEWR, 2008) The Profession - Aging workforce (see Figure.1 and Figure.2)
- What will be the emerging shortage coping strategies?
- How can flexibility for a more mobile workforce be achieved?
- Working with paraprofessionals
- Catering for diverse and special needs among students
- Vocational education and training integration Horizon Scan - Australia has a highly diversified and decentralised education system.

- Government school systems have generally devolved more decision-making authority to the school level in recent years.

- Although Australia has a number of different teacher workforces (distinguished by state/territory, primary/secondary, government/independent), most states and territories have a statutory teacher registration process that requires all teachers to meet the same minimum requirements.

- Australia has not had an organisation with responsibility for teacher workforce planning at the national level. The Context Due to the complexities of both the profession and the current context, numerous issues arise when considering implications for workforce planning.

- Attraction
- Recruitment & Selection
- Retention
- Leadership
- Pre-teaching The Issues - How can the attractiveness of the teaching career be enhanced?
- There are concerns about the availability of teachers with skills in emergent educational approaches (LoTE, IT, diversity, special needs)
- A sizable teaching pool already exists, and there are large numbers of people in the workforce who possess teaching qualifications but are not working as teachers.

OECD recommends making teaching an attractive career choice by:
- improving the image and status of teaching; teaching’s salary competitiveness; employment conditions; and capitalising on an over-supply of teachers
- expanding the supply pool of potential teachers; making reward mechanisms more flexible; improving entrance conditions for new teachers; and rethinking the trade-off between student-teacher ratio and average teacher salary Attraction - While high retirement rates are acknowledged, resignations and up to 25% attrition among early career teachers are areas of concern, with many teachers leaving in their first five years
- Remuneration and benefits
- What forms of support are in place?
- What is the impact of the amount of 'out-of-field' teaching

OECD recommends retaining effective teachers in schools by:
- evaluating and rewarding effective teaching; providing more opportunities for career variety and diversification; improving leadership and school climate; and improving working conditions
- responding to ineffective teachers; providing more support for beginning teachers; and providing more flexible working hours and conditions Retention - What is the influence of the attitudes and intentions among prospective and current leaders?
- Ageing nature of the principal workforce means succession must be a focus area
- Unattractiveness of the work undertaken by school leaders is a potential barrier to career progression and willingness to undertake increased levels of responsibility Leadership Data Sources Due to the substantial interest in the area, scope of the stakeholders and diversity of professional bodies; there are considerable sources of varied data. Quantitative To source ''frontline' perspectives on workforce planning issues, the following resources can be accessed: Qualitative - 2005 MCEETYA Report indicates that supply of primary teachers was in balance at the time and at the secondary level difficulties were faced when filling vacancies located in rural, remote and difficult to staff metropolitan locations and for particular specialisations. School Leaders Independent Metropolitan
Experienced Teachers Government Rural
Beginning Teachers Secondary Priority
Prior Teachers Primary Prestigious DEEWR ASPA ACE
DEST ABS The Report The impact of quality teachers on student engagement and performance is well documented and cannot be underestimated (Goodwin 2010; Hattie 2008; Levin 2008). Barber and Mourshead (2007) found that the quality of an education system depends on the quality of its teachers. Australia’s teachers and school leaders must be valued by the community. Teaching should be regarded as among the most important and respected occupations in our society.
(The Gonki Report. 2011) Lessons from Afar Lessons can be learned from the world’s leading schooling systems, where teaching is a high-status profession. In these systems, competition from school students to become teachers is strong and only the best are selected. For example, Finland has raised the social status of its teaching profession to a level where there are few occupations with higher status, and a master’s degree is required to enter it (OECD 2011a). In addition, countries that have succeeded in making teaching an attractive profession have offered teachers greater career prospects, providing responsibility as professionals and leaders of reform.
(The Gonski Report, 2011) National Government Initiatives Issues Identified by OECD as Impacting
Teaching Across the Globe - “qualitative” shortfalls: whether enough teachers have the knowledge and skills to meet school needs
- limited connections between teacher education, teachers’ professional development, and school needs
- maintaining an adequate supply of good quality teachers, especially in high demand subject areas
- the image and status of teaching -- teachers often feel that their work is undervalued
- long term trends in the composition of the teaching workforce, e.g. fewer “high achievers” and males
- sometimes high rates of teacher attrition, especially among new teachers
- the impact of high workloads, stress and poor working environments on job satisfaction and teaching effectiveness
- limited means in most countries to recognise and reward teachers’ work
- in some countries, a large over-supply of qualified teachers, which raises its own policy challenges
- inequitable distribution of teachers among schools, and whether students in disadvantaged areas have the quality teachers that they need

School systems often respond to teacher shortages in the short term in ways that raise concerns about the quality of teaching and learning. They ensure that classrooms have teachers by some combination of:
- lowering qualification requirements for entry to the profession
- assigning teachers to teach in subject areas in which they are not fully qualified
- increasing the number of classes that teachers are allocated
- increasing class sizes Teachers may not reach their potential if settings do not provide appropriate support, challenge and reward. OECD recommends recruiting, selecting and employing teachers by:
- using more flexible forms of employment; giving schools more responsibility for teacher personnel management; meeting short term staffing needs; and improving information flows and monitoring of the teacher labour market
- broadening criteria for teacher selection; making a probationary period mandatory; and encouraging greater teacher mobility
(OECD) Recruitment & Selection New Zealand has been active in assisting the growth in the supply of teachers which as a result
increased markedly in the 1990s. Some of the key measures have included:
- A nationwide program of TV advertising to boost the profile of teaching;
- A $10 000 scholarship paid to those commencing a teacher training course in subjects in high
- Funding schools to build up a pool of relief teachers;
- Retraining of teachers who have been out of teaching for some years, with preference given to
those qualified in “shortage” specialisations;
- A national relocation grant for teachers moving into priority teaching positions and a recruitment
bonus to schools which take on these teachers.
- Teachers coming to New Zealand also qualify
for an international relocation grant; and
- A grant for persons returning to a full-time position after an absence of 3 years or more.
(MCEETYA, 2004) The UK Government has taken a number of steps to address these recruitment difficulties and the
details are available on the DfEE website at www.dfee.gov.uk. These initiatives include:
· The Teacher Training Agency, established in 1994, which promotes teaching as a profession and
sets out to raise the standard of teaching and the quality of teacher training courses;
· Financial incentives to encourage the take-up of teacher training especially in areas of high
demand. These incentives include the waiving of tuition fees for postgraduate certificate of
education courses; and the provision of an incentive payment (of 5000 pounds) for those who
take up teaching in mathematics and science;
· Encouragement of mature individuals to enter teacher training by offering them employment as
“unqualified teachers” while they are training by way of an individualised training programme.
The school receives an incentive payment of 2000 pounds to cover the costs of the training; and
· Refresher courses for returners to teaching, including help with childcare, and a welcome back
bonus for qualified teachers who have been out of teaching for more than a year and return to the
(MCEETYA, 2004) A report on these issues will be composed to provide schools with access to information and resources, including Grant Thornton workforce consultants, to address these complex matters in a strategic and informed way. APPENDIX 1 Supply & Demand (OECD)
2 Principals Forum 2011
3-11 SiAS 2010 Figures Quality Teachers - from 3:34 Figure.1 Figure.2
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