Bridget Phillipson, the New Education Secretary Initiates Recruitment of 6,500 Teachers
Bridget Phillipson
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The new Education Secretary, Bridget Phillipson, has commenced efforts to recruit 6,500 teachers, according to the Department for Education (DfE). On Monday, Phillipson will reach out to all education workforces to “reset the relationship” with the sector. She is also scheduled to meet with union leaders and other education officials in the coming days.

The government plans to immediately resume and expand the teacher recruitment campaign, Every Lesson Shapes a Life. This initiative directs potential candidates to the Get Into Teaching website, which offers support and advice from teacher training advisers, a contact centre, and a national program of events.

During the election campaign, Labour pledged to prioritize the recruitment of 6,500 teachers, funded by adding taxes to private school fees, although the exact timeline for this policy is unclear. The proposal, featured in Labour’s manifesto, has sparked debate; some view it as a fair way to generate revenue, while others see it as an unfair burden on parents.

Phillipson expressed her desire to put education “back at the forefront of national life” and transform the image of teaching. The DfE emphasized that addressing the crisis in teacher recruitment and retention is essential.

Writing to education workforces on Monday was Phillipson’s “first priority,” she said, noting that the teaching profession had been “talked down, sidelined, and denigrated” for too long. Relations between teaching unions and the previous government were strained, leading to several strikes across the UK last year over pay issues.

While the pay offer for teachers this year remains uncertain, unions have welcomed Phillipson’s appointment. Daniel Kebede, general secretary of the National Education Union (NEU), stressed the importance of resetting the relationship between ministers and the teaching profession. He expressed hope that Phillipson’s leadership would bring stability and seriousness to the Department for Education. Kebede also urged Phillipson to publish the 2024/25 pay and funding offer for schools to address past grievances.

Paul Whiteman, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT), congratulated Phillipson on her appointment but cautioned against underestimating the challenges the new government will face. Whiteman expressed NAHT’s readiness to collaborate with Phillipson and her team in the coming years.

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