A report by ACME also predicted that more science and mathematics teachers would be required in the coming decade. The government’s ambition is providing more mathematics teachers to more balanced approach to deficit reduction. This would entail more teaching hours for students in this area. Poor quality mathematics and science students would mean that the whole economy would suffer since Cogent Skills (a strategic organization for science industries in the UK) predicted that the UK would require 37,000 graduates and 33,000 apprentices by 2020. There is a shortage since the projected skill production is 18,000 and 21,000 respectively.
The Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) report in 2013 indicated an overall decline in teachers’ satisfaction with their profession. In this report, 35% of teachers pointed out that their profession is valued by the society. This is a low turnover, but it is actually higher than in most countries. The low turnover indicates a shortage in teachers. Poor morale results in poor teaching. About 73% of teachers in England felt underpaid.
Shortage of teachers in the UK is affecting the whole nation. Understanding the causes of the teacher shortage is critical in resolving this problem. The number of teachers rose by almost 1.3% in the previous years, but student population has increased tremendously. The UK graduates are finding alternative opportunities that pay better than the teaching profession. The UK is facing shortages of qualified and experienced STEM teachers due to poor remuneration, unfriendly working environment, and low enrollment in training schools (Barmby, 2006).
UK graduates find it easy to secure the few jobs available in the private sector. Back in 2009 and 2010, teaching was a pleasing job, and many candidates were willing to join the few available slots in training colleges. A work overload has also led to shortage of teachers. About 1,100 schools have become funded academies over the last few years with the help of the government. People have transformed the learning institutions to business empires, with particular targets exerting pressure on teachers to perform (Barmby, 2006).
In the US, a study on urban district schools indicates that high levels of teacher turnover plays a fundamental role in teacher shortage by increasing demand. Teachers are leaving the teaching profession primarily due to work conditions, lack of support, and unsustainable compensation. These are important since teachers’ decisions are motivated by both extrinsic and intrinsic rewards. Teachers’ motivation depends on the conditions found within the school and districts. Education policy makers in the US should put more effort on retaining teachers by improving support and working environments in their areas. Reports indicate that the US is facing teacher shortages in high proportions. States responded quickly by raising and implementing incentives and teaching programs to attract new teachers to the profession. The visible problems facing the education system in US in the society is downplayed by state agencies (Eckert1, 2013). Researchers believe that the increasing number of learner enrollment, new laws requiring small class sizes and low fertility rates in first world countries justify the need to recruit more teachers. Researchers and recent data released in these reports allow precise evaluation of trends and shortages in the education sector and the feasible actions (Barmby, 2006).
Researchers also quarrel about the predictable knowledge that the shortage exists since there are no sufficient capable and qualified teachers to fill up the number of empty positions (Monk, 2008). If we judge just some qualified candidates and some employment openings, there is surplus of skilled people. The shortage lies in the allocation of teachers. There are not sufficient teachers who are both experienced and eager to teach in inner-city and countryside schools. There is moreover a shortage indefinite geographic regions of the country, and there are not sufficient qualified persons in exacting specialties, such as for bilingual, special education and as well as for the sciences (Eckert, 2013).
In the UK, few students are enrolling for technology driven courses. Earlier studies have shown that fewer students wish to follow careers in technology. The primary challenge the UK is facing is employment and retention of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) teachers in learning institutions. There are shortages of STEM secondary teachers since most of the teachers are finding other alternative lucrative opportunities. There are fears that low numbers of teachers will compromise the quality of graduates from learning institutions (Barmby, 2006). Gatsby Technical Education Projects (GTEP) were established in the UK to support educational opportunities that will enable wealth creation through technology application and effective technology transfer from colleges and research centers to productive industry. The UK government also provided tax-free grants to trainee teachers of STEM.
Teacher shortages have a rich history in the UK. Education field has been of greater interest for scientific discussion and research around the world for decades. Schools in the UK have not been able to address teacher shortages in the compulsory education. In 1950, Archibald identified unfilled teaching positions and two decades later, the position remained unfilled. He noted the challenges of recruiting teachers by the administrators (Barmby, 2006). Schools in the UK have employed different strategies to address teacher shortages such as networking, hiring overseas teachers, curriculum adjustment to be teacher friendly, employment of part-time teachers and requesting available employees to teach a broad range of subjects (Monk, 2008). These measures require changes that affect the students’ performances. The teaching fraternity has been exposed to exacerbated expectations through allocation of extensive education sessions and the increase of the student teacher ratio. This may affect the teachers’ profession through excessive stress and push them out of the profession, consequently aggravating shortages of professional teachers. Unsustainable remuneration is a principal cause of teacher shortage. Several appeals have been made to improve the teachers’ compensation (Barmby, 2006).
In this analysis, teachers gave a view on the shortage subjects in the UK with views on recruitment and retention. Salary emerged as the most influential factor affecting teachers’ recruitment were both quantitative and qualitative people’s behavior and workload. These factors emerged as the most dissuading issues to teachers to remain in the profession. Any policy drafted to improve teachers’ recruitment and retention in the UK must take into account these factors(Barmby, 2006).
Teacher shortages in western countries are caused by social-economic changes which threaten the future of education in many first world countries(Monk, 2008).Literature review indicates the shortage of STEM teachers, design and home economics fields. A report by Northern Ireland Teachers Education Committee (NITEC) revealed that the country had experienced an acute shortage of teacher’s registration for STEM which was insufficient to meet the national demand. STEM teachers seem to be older than teachers in other subject areas (Gray & Behan, 2005).
Teachers shortage begun in the early 1980s, particularly in urban areas. Currently, urban districts lose one-sixth of newly hired teachers within their first five years of the service. Educators are expected to examine the selection process of students joining teacher’s training institutions, recruitment, and retention (Monk, 2008). In urban schools, differences in social-cultural identities between the students and educators affect retention and success of a hiring process. Most of the kindergarten teachers are middle-class women from rural and suburban areas while more than 40% of the students are children of color living in poverty stricken areas. Less than 20% of the teachers are fluent in foreign languages. In 2000, there were less than 2 million limited English proficient teachers, and the number keeps on rising due to immigration. This may affect teacher retention and quality of education delivered to the students.
In conclusion, both the US and UK education sectors are in crises of shortage of quality teachers. In both countries, there are acute shortages of STEM teachers and each state has implemented different policies to address the challenge. Implemented policies are aimed at attracting and retaining the best talents in the teaching profession. The main challenges facing teaching fraternity are low remuneration and poor working conditions. Education administrators have a role in ensuring all the students get quality education, especially STEM. Attraction and retention can be achieved through giving incentives such as grants, improved remuneration, and interest-free loans.
Teachers are responsible for creating the future of students and society. They are the ones who encourages students and help them in understanding the concept and how to use those concepts to be successful in life. Teacher are a very important asset of every society so their needs should be fulfilled and special attention should be given to their needs so that they can provide better education and ways of learning to our children.
In this analysis, teachers gave a view on the shortage subjects in the UK with views on recruitment and retention. Moreover, salary was seen as the most influential factor affecting teachers’ recruitment. This affected both quantitative and qualitative people’s behavior and workload. These factors emerged as the most dissuading issues to teachers to remain in the profession. Any policy drafted to improve teachers’ recruitment and retention in the UK must take these factors into account.
On the other hand, in the United States Education Commission of the States May 2016 reported that several incentives were used to acquire more teachers in reference to the causes and circumstances leading to the shortage. These included; alternative certification, financial incentives, mentorship and induction, teacher leadership, assessment, and feedback. This enhanced motivation and appreciation of teachers is so as to maintain them in the course.
Researchers in theUS and the UK have recorded a shortage of quality teachers and have come to the unanimous conclusion that quality teachers have significant influence on student learning. For this reason, it is permitted to assume that everyone agrees to what is meant by quality teachers. The word quality is hugely value-oriented such that individual’s reference for quality may differ but still be legitimate. The characterization of quality teachers varies with the interests and perspectives of a writer (Michael, 2011).
From the above illustrations, it is clear there is a crisis called ‘Quality teacher Shortage’. This has plagued both the US and the UK equally and almost with similar magnitude. The difference of how the problem ousted depends on the policies and responsiveness of the governments towards this epidemic. Different approaches should be recommended but which have a point of intersection for both the US and UK. In the UK, to solve the problem of shortage of quality teachers, several measures should be pursued for long and short term use. First, provision of subject specific and high quality continued professional development. Second is to strengthen the career path of subject specialists. Third is to establish a national standard of defining subject specialism. Fourth, teaching college establishment. Fifth is career support and mentoring networks for students and teachers. Last but not least, financial incentives. In the US, the policies that should be implemented include: alternative certification, financial incentives, mentorship and induction, teacher leadership, assessment, and feedback.
Barmby, P. (2006). Improving teacher recruitment and retention: The importance of workload and pupil behavior. Educational Research, 48(3), 247-265. doi:10.1080/00131880600732314
Eckert, S.A. (2013). What do teaching qualifications mean in urban schools? A mixed method study of teacher preparation and qualification. Journal of Teacher Education, 64(1), 75-89.
Gray, C., & Behan, S. (2005). Current and predicted staffing patterns in post-primary schools: The perception and experience of school principals. Oxford Review of Education, 31(3), 443-458.
Micheal, S. (2011). The highly qualified teacher: What is teacher quality and how do we measure it. Columbia University.