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A Sure Sign Of Trouble Ahead

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Guest absolutezero

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/6240684.stm

OK. It's only in Scotland but there's similar things going on in England too.

I'm a physics teacher. Got my job about 5 years ago and there were two applicants for the job.

This year we advertised for a science teacher and we had 20 applicants.

As far as I know, teaching becomes more popular during times of recession and the like.

Is this a sign of things to come?

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Or is it simply that the government has done the same thing with teachers as they've done with doctors, i.e. trained up far more teachers than there are jobs for, and the newly qualifieds are now starting to flood the job market?

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Guest absolutezero
Or is it simply that the government has done the same thing with teachers as they've done with doctors, i.e. trained up far more teachers than there are jobs for, and the newly qualifieds are now starting to flood the job market?

Not quite sure that's what went on.

A few years ago people just did not want to teach and teacher training courses had difficulty filling up. This had a knock on effect on the takeup of jobs.

The attitude was 'I can earn more doing something else'. Perhaps now there isn't really 'anything else'.

Has the economy taken a turn for the worse and people are after secure jobs that pay well?

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But surely you can't just apply for a teaching job if you don't have a teaching qualification? AFAIK, you have to have a PGCE or equivalent. So if there is a sudden increase in applications for teaching posts, either that means that there are a large number of qualified teachers who are currently doing other jobs and want to move back into teaching (possible, I guess), or a large number of newly qualified teachers are coming onto the job market for the first time.

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Guest absolutezero
But surely you can't just apply for a teaching job if you don't have a teaching qualification? AFAIK, you have to have a PGCE or equivalent. So if there is a sudden increase in applications for teaching posts, either that means that there are a large number of qualified teachers who are currently doing other jobs and want to move back into teaching (possible, I guess), or a large number of newly qualified teachers are coming onto the job market for the first time.

People who leave teaching tend not to come back but I do agree with your last bit.

But what I'm getting at is why are there now more teachers applying for jobs?

It's because there are more people coming out of teacher training.

Why?

Because more people are doing teacher training.

Why?

Is it because there are fewer other well paying options for graduates?

Is it because teaching is seen as a more secure option?

Is it because the economy is kaputt?

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People who leave teaching tend not to come back but I do agree with your last bit.

But what I'm getting at is why are there now more teachers applying for jobs?

It's because there are more people coming out of teacher training.

Why?

Because more people are doing teacher training.

Why?

Is it because there are fewer other well paying options for graduates?

Is it because teaching is seen as a more secure option?

Is it because the economy is kaputt?

Yes to all of the above. My other half has just finished a PGCE. She did this because despite being educated to Masters level she was unable to find a graduate level post. I was stunned by how many people were on the PGCE, and how few jobs they would be chasing. I don't think there is an oversupply yet, (she got a post at her first interview) but there will be very soon. (This years course has not officially finished yet, so a lot of people havent applied for many jobs yet due to other pressures!)

I'm also experiencing almost the same situation in Planning. Despite having a planning degree, I've had to take a further Masters, plus I took a position on the reception desk of a planning department to try and work my way up the ladder. Two years later, I start as a DC Planner on Monday. Lots of graduates coming out this year simply are not going to get jobs. (Local Authorities are desperate for planners, but they want people with experience, not recent graduates)

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I think we're both agreeing with each other. It could well be that significant numbers of graduates are opting for teacher training, attracted by a permanent contract, reasonable wage and final salary pension. But if the government has been allowing the creation of significantly more teacher training places than there are jobs for people coming out the other end, it seems to me that we're in a similar situation to that of the doctors: taxpayers' money is being spent training people for professional public-sector jobs which don't exist. I'm seeing the same thing as an academic: there's a huge amount of research council money for PhD studentships sloshing around these days. Of the 30 or so PhD students in my department, there are probably lecturer 'A' posts waiting for around five of them when they graduate. Some of those 30 are international students who will leave the country when they finish, but even so I wouldn't be surprised if around half the postgrads currently going through the system never get a chance to actually do the job they're being trained for.

Edited by The Ayatollah Bugheri

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Guest DissipatedYouthIsValuable
I think we're both agreeing with each other. It could well be that significant numbers of graduates are opting for teacher training, attracted by a permanent contract, reasonable wage and final salary pension. But if the government has been allowing the creation of significantly more teacher training places than there are jobs for people coming out the other end, it seems to me that we're in a similar situation to that of the doctors: taxpayers' money is being spent training people for professional public-sector jobs which don't exist. I'm seeing the same thing as an academic: there's a huge amount of research council money for PhD studentships sloshing around these days. Of the 30 or so PhD students in my department, there are probably lecturer 'A' posts waiting for around five of them when they graduate. Some of those 30 are international students who will leave the country when they finish, but even so I wouldn't be surprised if around half the postgrads currently going through the system never get a chance to actually do the job they're being trained for.

The game with oversupplying teachers and doctors is one to control wages by increasing competition.

After a year or two, the oversupply moves into other jobs or emigrates, but direct action is quite likely too.

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I think there is an oversupply being trained but the retention rate is still ludicrous. If you want to keep a leaky bucket filled you need to leave the tap on. Some of those vacancies will be jobs that anyone with any experience would rather go on the dole than fill, there has to be some cannon fodder in the system.

I'd suggest the increase in numbers is simply coming from the increase in graduates given a degree often just sends you back to shelf stacking, I guess a lot of people are trying their hand at the PGCE for lack of anything else to do.

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Guest absolutezero
I think there is an oversupply being trained but the retention rate is still ludicrous. If you want to keep a leaky bucket filled you need to leave the tap on. Some of those vacancies will be jobs that anyone with any experience would rather go on the dole than fill, there has to be some cannon fodder in the system.

I'd suggest the increase in numbers is simply coming from the increase in graduates given a degree often just sends you back to shelf stacking, I guess a lot of people are trying their hand at the PGCE for lack of anything else to do.

I think that is the gist of the drop in teacher vacancies.

People are beginning to see that the economy is about to go wrong and are less likely to take risks and set up a business or work in the private sector.

In general, teachers aren't exactly the most intelligent people I've met (me excluded obviously) and if teachers (or trainee ones at least) can spot it coming then I'd imagine most can.

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I think that is the gist of the drop in teacher vacancies.

People are beginning to see that the economy is about to go wrong and are less likely to take risks and set up a business or work in the private sector.

In general, teachers aren't exactly the most intelligent people I've met (me excluded obviously) and if teachers (or trainee ones at least) can spot it coming then I'd imagine most can.

I fear it might, in part at least, be a lack of imagination. But hell, we need good teachers so if these guy cut the mustard and can get kids imaginative about science for the future, bring it on! We're gonna need 'em.

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Or is it simply that the government has done the same thing with teachers as they've done with doctors, i.e. trained up far more teachers than there are jobs for, and the newly qualifieds are now starting to flood the job market?

S'ok they won't last long.

I wouldn't think teaching is the easy job it used to be. The kids seem almost feral in some places.

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S'ok they won't last long.

I wouldn't think teaching is the easy job it used to be. The kids seem almost feral in some places.

Its aged my mate 10 years in 2.

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A very good friend of mine has nearly completed his first year as a Maths teacher in SE London. Frankly, I wouldn't touch it with a sh1tty stick myself, but he seems quite passionate about it. I hear all kinds of terrible stories about the absurdity of government intervention and the impossible children - he agrees that half of the teachers are either just hopeless or time-servers, but the other half seem to carry them with their bottomless enthusiasm for the job.

It takes a special person to excel at the job - its a shame those ones can't be rewarded properly.

Oh - and the exams are undoubtedly a joke.

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Teaching may be a steady job, but will you get a pay rise? My brother works in FE and has been offered a whopping 0% pay rise for the year.

Obviously inflation is dead according to FE!

Don't know how they can justify putting up course fees.

FE and HE are the wasteland of teaching - poor pay and none of the perks they throw at primary and secondary. Mind you, I wouldn't think people are just doing a PGCE for something to do as they recently removed the fees grant. Now costs 3k for the year, I believe (I got through just before this was removed). Mate of mine is just finishing her PGCE and seems to be having a problem finding a primary post in SE London - certainly aren't as many vacancies as there were 2-3 years ago. Although I was quite in demand through being one of the token blokes, so maybe that skewed my perception?

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Yes to all of the above. My other half has just finished a PGCE. She did this because despite being educated to Masters level she was unable to find a graduate level post. I was stunned by how many people were on the PGCE, and how few jobs they would be chasing. I don't think there is an oversupply yet, (she got a post at her first interview) but there will be very soon. (This years course has not officially finished yet, so a lot of people havent applied for many jobs yet due to other pressures!)

I'm also experiencing almost the same situation in Planning. Despite having a planning degree, I've had to take a further Masters, plus I took a position on the reception desk of a planning department to try and work my way up the ladder. Two years later, I start as a DC Planner on Monday. Lots of graduates coming out this year simply are not going to get jobs. (Local Authorities are desperate for planners, but they want people with experience, not recent graduates)

La desparate for planners? Why, so they can reject applications quicker?

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Or is it simply that the government has done the same thing with teachers as they've done with doctors, i.e. trained up far more teachers than there are jobs for, and the newly qualifieds are now starting to flood the job market?

Great news. So we can look forward to a big pay cut for the 130K a year GPs with 4 day weeks and a tee off booked at 3:30 on a Thursday?

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A very good friend of mine has nearly completed his first year as a Maths teacher in SE London. Frankly, I wouldn't touch it with a sh1tty stick myself, but he seems quite passionate about it. I hear all kinds of terrible stories about the absurdity of government intervention and the impossible children - he agrees that half of the teachers are either just hopeless or time-servers, but the other half seem to carry them with their bottomless enthusiasm for the job.

It takes a special person to excel at the job - its a shame those ones can't be rewarded properly.

Oh - and the exams are undoubtedly a joke.

The fact that there is a growing tide of applicants for these jobs (it seems) means they ARE being rewarded properly - the pay is matching the market - the demand for that pay for that job is RISING, so the pay is fine. In fact, it could theoretically be cut.

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The fact that there is a growing tide of applicants for these jobs (it seems) means they ARE being rewarded properly - the pay is matching the market - the demand for that pay for that job is RISING, so the pay is fine. In fact, it could theoretically be cut.

Don't think this is the case - but graduates just think that unlike every other avenue where competition is fierce, if they get a PGCE they are a shoo-in for a job without much effort. 19k is better than a McJob, I suppose. However, as a primary teacher myself, i do think that increassed competition is good, as schools will be able to pick and choose rather than taking on any old person. my eldest kid is just coming up to school age and I'd rather she wasn't taught by some of the flapjacks I have encountered. Basic spelling, grammar and numeracy on their part would be a bonus....

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I think there are a number of reasons why there are more teachers competing for available posts.

My partner has been a secondary school teacher for about 5 years now. She's just got a job as a head of department and will be earning around £38k. Around our (rural) part of the world that's a really good wage.

I think Little Cogs hit the nail on the head - there are far too many new arts graduates with soft degrees out there who can't find a 'graduate job'. When my girlfriend went into teaching, the government agreed to pay off her student loan (if she stayed in the profession for a certain length of time). Given the apparent oversupply, I don't know if that's still the case, but it would certainly be a strong incentive for any over-indebted media studies graduate facing a lifetime of shelf-stacking!

Also, I think that its now possible to teach without a PGCE - and learn on the job as a kind of higher level classroom assistant (any teachers out there excuse me if I've got the wrong end of the stick). Needless to say, the pay is lower... which makes such teachers more attractive to cash strapped schools. A friend of mine is a supply teacher at a comp where one class has been 'taught' English all year by a bog-standard classroom assistant - basically a dinner lady! No wonder none of them can spell their own names!

So to sum up, there are probably less qualified teacher posts available, as schools scrimp and save and employ cheaper 'supervisors'.

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