As announced by former Chief Inspector of Schools, Michael Wilshaw, the education sector has been part of a ‘national scandal’ with two in five newly qualified teachers experiencing mental health problems as a result.
With just under 50% of state school teachers looking to leave the profession within the next five years, the recruitment and retention crisis in UK schools will only continue to worsen. Without a strategy of intervention put in place, not only will schools continue to struggle to recruit new people into the profession, but they will see existing teachers leaving far sooner than they might have done. Most importantly, with increasing gaps and vacancies becoming apparent, the poor mental health of teachers will have a detrimental effect on pupil progress.
The expectations of NQTs from colleagues and leadership teams are considerably high. And with rising workloads, lower NET pay and higher volumes of students in class, this is proving a difficult pill to swallow for new entrants. Many teachers are forced to work almost twice as long as the national average, leaving it as no surprise that as a result of burnt-out and declining mental health issues, NQTs are leaving their jobs. With recent debate over lengthening the school day, the pressures on our teachers will only heighten as a result.
With 82% of our teachers feeling as if they are fighting a losing battle, it is imperative, now more than ever, that something is put in place to help tackle and reduce the masses of teachers leaving the profession.
This is why Opogo have developed an NQT support and retention programme aimed at preventing teachers leaving the profession as well as tackling the issues that can affect their mental health and wellbeing. The programme consists of a series of blended learning digital courses and events brought to life through the Opogo Web Platform.
It is apparent that to fully equip teachers entering the profession with the right skills, the support and growth they require needs to extend beyond the ‘in-house’ guidance they are currently receiving. Opogo’s Teach Growth programme offers continued support over three years which, with the help of our teaching experts, will ensure participants are fully prepared to thrive in from colleagues and leadership teams he most vital phase of their teaching career.
In Year 1, NQTs will be taught the core skills and behaviours that are necessary for them to support themselves and their fellow colleagues. Within this first year, we acknowledge the importance of experimentation within a teaching setting and how variety helps to reinforce skill and behavioural competency in our NQTs. Access to tools and resources also help to ensure that Teachers’ Standards are understood and mastered whilst inter-school collaboration is encouraged for resource development and understanding.
Year 2 is a critical one with our NQTs maturing as professionals. The focus is on selecting and owning their career choice, honing their skills while remaining positive about their journeys so far. We recognise that it is at this point in training, that many experience burnouts and drop out. To help tackle this, the right combination of support and behavioural competency is at the forefront of our programme. Opogo believes that we should be able to thrive as educators which is why we encourage our NQTs to take risks, learn from collaboration and to take responsibility for others as a way of ensuring that they are equipped professionally, emotionally and mentally to succeed in their final year.
The final year of the Opogo Teach Growth programme is about encouraging our talented teachers to take ownership and thrive within their chosen settings. Steps are provided for transitioning into leadership and management roles as well as building a five-year plan in collaboration with our education experts that will cement their personal brand in the market. As a final stage to the programme, our teachers will develop and present projects to a ‘Dragons Den’ panel of judges to win a prize of national notoriety. Opogo believes that this is the perfect stepping stone to the rest of the teachers’ future careers.
At Opogo, we have spent many hours of research and behaviour profiling to condense a five-step formula of traits we believe to be vital for NQT’s in today’s teaching world. Titled as the PEARL method, these 5 traits are woven into our NQT programme to ensure their happy retention in the professional during the crucial first three years. The PEARL method comprises of: personal responsibility, empowerment, ambition, resilience and leadership. From assuming management roles to dealing with setbacks in the challenges that may occur throughout their time as a teacher.
Teach Growth has been designed to help make the formative years of all NQT careers happy, connected and rewarding. We believe that being able to develop your pedagogical style and personalised classroom and behaviour management techniques as part of a supported network of peers is one of the largest missing factors in current NQT on-boarding, so this is the centre of our programme. Graduating Teach Growth NQTs are equipped with all the necessary skills they need to work productively in classrooms, staffrooms or anywhere else their careers may take them.
Want to learn more about how you can get involved with Teach Growth? Contact us now on 0330 058 6700 or drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or find further information online at www.opogo.com/teachgrowth.
About the CEO
CEO | Founder
With extensive experience and strategic skill in building leading global marketing businesses across multiple sectors, Justyn is the CEO and founder of Opogo.
From his deep understanding of the industry and its challenges, Justyn launched Opogo with the prime motivation of transforming the experience of educators within the industry.