What if teachers were counted? by @GenieNewton

What if...?

Teachers know that pupils have a PRN – that faceless identifier, the primary key that distinguishes them from all other pupils in the country and that teachers have a TRN that does the same for them.

When a pupil is absent, changes school, gains or loses a statement, earns qualifications, goes to University all this is stored in their PRN, giving those who love data a great chunk of contextual information about the where and whens of the pupil’s life.

What if we required the same information about teachers? What if we wanted to know which schools were “shipping” the most out of the system – those places where the leaks need to be addressed, remedied and plugged?

This is a re-blog post originally posted by @GenieNewton and published with kind permission.

The original post can be found here. Read more posts by clicking here.

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After all, teachers are not cheap. It costs the country £30,000 in bursaries alone for one physics trainee in 2015 and we need thousands of them. There is NO guarantee that the trainee, having taken the bursary, will even teach for one day. And no requirement for him to pay it back if he doesn’t.

What if some of this money could be invested in measures in schools which aimed to retain the brilliant physicists already working there .. to provide some training, give a day’s holiday, maybe a retention bonus? Plenty of things are cheaper than £30,000 and I know many teachers are pretty happy with a free cup of tea, a biscuit and someone who recognises what they are doing and celebrates that with them. What if a teacher could look forward to a 6 month research break or sabbatical every 10 years? Even that would be cost-effective when it returned an invigorated professional with new stories, thinking and research to share.

Thoughts on making teaching sustainable, a job for life, the best job on earth … why not invest in this dream, someone has to.

Georgina is a Senior Teaching Fellow at University of Warwick, National College of Teaching supporter. Researching why teachers quit.

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