Across the year, the profession that has seen the most change to normal work-life has been the education industry. Once the government announced that schools would either close or run at a reduced output for essential workers and children with health challenges, the timetables, curriculum and exams were thrown into disarray and quick planning.
Four months on, and schools have been preparing to open up again for the new school year, but with it brings a whole raft of new challenges that haven’t been faced in the profession before.
However, this also brings opportunities to some who are looking at a teaching career in some aspect. Across the curriculum, there are plenty of schools who are looking for graduates and others looking for a new challenge to help them with the next school year, which will bring its own challenges compared to previous years.
Teaching has always been a profession that is recession-proof; schools need teachers in order to educate the next-generation; without teachers the industry would collapse, and targets set by the education bodies and governors would not be met.
Every year there are thousands of places in sectors of education being filled at universities, and some are also seeing the profession as a change to the one they’ve been in for many years already.
The latest UCAS data from May has shown that a greater number of applicants have applied for courses than any year since 2014, and with this, a huge increase in enrollment is expected for when the Universities resume in September for the 2020-2021 school year.
Schools want to keep teacher retention going, even with the challenges that many face with the implications of COVID-19, but there are already programmes by the government that are enticing new starters.
The Early Career Framework (ECF) is a collection of aims by the government, headed up by the Education Secretary where there is a commitment to increase the starting salaries to £30,000 by 2022.
If you also couple this with the £2,000 increase for new starters, it’s only emphasizing the fact that there’s a huge amount of opportunity out there, even if you’re in a totally different profession.
Even though many schools are trying to move away from supply contracts, there is a demand for short-term contracts to help lift the load off a school that may be struggling with the influx of sickness from staff, especially with any potential symptoms that could relate to COVID-19. When taking up a supply contract, it can only bring advantages during these times, bringing opportunities to build up new and existing skills, most of which could be raised when in a future interview for a long-term position.
When you take into account the potential rise of students in secondary schools rising by as much as 10%, the demand for new staff is only going to increase in the coming years, regardless of a pandemic currently bringing new challenges to schools across the country.
All in all, there is a clear demand out there, right now for anyone, from graduates to those wanting a change in profession, to find a career in teaching. With the government in full support of new starters and aiming to deliver a promise on starting-salaries, now has never been a better time to begin the path.