Conor Ryan reports on improving the status and quality of primary school teaching.
- A ‘Teach Primary’ initiative should be established to raise the profile and status of primary school teaching. This should include new and existing employment-based routes into the profession, specifically: Teach First should be extended to primary schools, more Graduate Teacher Training places should be made available for those wishing to become primary teachers, other work-based opportunities should be opened to new graduates wanting to enter the primary sector
- There should be a focus on recruiting the best teachers into the most challenging schools through the us of financial incentives, such as golden handcuffs and higher salaries
- Consortia of successful primary schools should be able to become training schools, allowing the best schools to instruct the next generation of teachers
- Primary teaching should develop a more attractive career structure, particularly by allowing ambitious teachers to lead groups of primary schools as executive heads
- Advertising should not hide the challenges of primary teaching – the chance to make a difference in a difficult environment is attractive to many high-flying graduates and career-switchers.