Attracting and retaining high quality teachers starts with training. In Finland, the top-performing European country in PISA tests, teachers are trained to a high level in both subject content and teaching theory. The English Government says it wants high quality graduates to enter training and then undermines its rhetoric by saying that teaching is a “craft” and free schools need not employ trained teachers. And there needs to be high quality in-service training and professional development.
Other measures could include improving pay and work conditions. Starting salaries for teachers are relatively high in England but low top wages may discourage experienced teachers from remaining in the profession. Attacks on teacher pensions and a rise in the number of “no hours” contracts are not likely to encourage graduates to become teachers when they can earn more and have a better work/life balance elsewhere.