Teaching vacancies could increase

MORE than 100 teaching jobs are vacant in Suffolk - but education chiefs today claimed it is quite normal for the time of year.According to Suffolk County Council's website, there are currently 139 positions soon to be vacated in schools across the county.

MORE than 100 teaching jobs are vacant in Suffolk - but education chiefs today claimed it is quite normal for the time of year.

According to Suffolk County Council's website, there are currently 139 positions soon to be vacated in schools across the county.

However, an education spokeswoman for the council said it was typical for teachers to move among schools in April and May.

She also said that the figure represented about two per cent of the total number of teaching positions in Suffolk, which currently stands at 6,704.

However, according to a union leader, that number of vacancies could soon rise.

Chris Harrrison, national council member for Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire for the National Association of Headteachers (NAHT), said the deadline for teachers wishing to hand in their notice was looming.

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He also claimed the increasing number of vacant leadership positions in Suffolk was because of a pay discrepancy between smaller and larger schools.

He said: “The position for September will be much clearer at the beginning of June after the May 31 deadline. We will have a better picture of what the situation will be then.

“With regard to headship positions in primary schools, they are becoming more and more difficult to fill.

“The difficulty in recruiting at smaller schools is even greater. That is a problem Suffolk faces because the county has a huge amount of small schools.

“Another problem is that teachers in larger schools can be paid more than some heads in smaller schools.”

Mr Harrison said the dynamic of headteachers at the moment was such that around half would be retiring in the next three or four years.

He said: “Making leadership positions in schools an attractive proposition is something this government needs to address as a major issue.”

Nationwide research from the NAHT shows up to half a million children are currently in schools without permanent headteachers.

And a survey by the union showed more than one in four heads would consider quitting if their heavy workload does not fall.

Do you think more cash should be invested in attracting teachers to our schools? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

Weblink: www.suffolk.gov.uk

Teaching Vacancies - how the figures break down.

Secondary schools - 75 posts

Primary schools - 32 posts

Middle schools - 28 posts

Special Schools - four posts

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