Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 25°C

min temp: 18°C

Search

Teacher shortage mystery in Suffolk

PUBLISHED: 14:40 31 August 2002 | UPDATED: 12:33 03 March 2010

WITH just a few days to go until the new school term starts, it is today still unclear exactly how many new teachers need to undergo criminal records checks in Suffolk.

WITH just a few days to go until the new school term starts, it is today still unclear exactly how many new teachers need to undergo criminal records checks in Suffolk.

It was yesterday revealed that thousands of children could be turned away from their schools at the start of the new term because of a backlog in the vetting process.

Up to 12,000 applications still need to be checked by the Criminal Records Bureau which was set up last April to provide a system of checks designed to prevent unsuitable people being left in charge of children.

The crisis has been made worse by a sudden change in government policy following the deaths of Soham schoolgirls Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman.

In Suffolk, there are around 6,000 teachers, and each school year around 200 newly qualified teachers join.

David Thornton, deputy director of education at Suffolk County Council said: "We are working closely with the Criminal Records Bureau to ensure that checks on all forms we have already submitted can be completed by September.

"We welcome the Government's action in putting extra resources into the CRB and trust that any delays in Suffolk will be resolved before the start of term.

"In the light of this action and guidance from the Department of Education and Skills, we are in the process of re-evaluating the position in Suffolk, so that we can make sure that Suffolk headteachers have all the information they need by the start of term."

Fears of teaching staff shortages across the country have also been allayed by Mr Thornton for Suffolk.

He said that all schools should be almost fully staffed by September although there may have to be some temporary appointments at some schools.

At the beginning of the summer term a survey showed that there were 53.2 vacancies, which were being covered by supply teachers.

The survey also showed that there were 158 temporary appointments in Suffolk schools.

As the Evening Star featured at the beginning of the month, more recruitment has been a key issue.

Mr Thornton said: "Our teacher recruitment work includes visiting universities to encourage newly qualified teachers to come to Suffolk – some 200 new teachers a year come to the county's school.

"We also hold local roadshows to encourage people into the profession – over 250 people expressed an interest in teaching at our roadshows last September."

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Ipswich Star

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists