Schools start returner pilot

Books and stationary on a school desk


A pilot returner programme for teachers in maths, physics and modern foreign languages has started this month.

The aim of the Returners Engagement Pilot Programme is to test whether state secondary schools in England can improve teacher recruitment in the three subjects by providing a bespoke package of support to qualified teachers who wish to return to teaching.

Schools taking part must assess their unfilled vacancies and request funding to support the number of returners they are looking to employ.

Schools will support two cohorts of returners for two to four weeks – the first starting in February and the second in May.

Each selected pilot school will receive grant funding and joins up with other pilot schools from their region to receive support and help with the planning and design of the programme and to share best practice. Regional meetings are chaired by the National College for Teaching and Leadership.

‘Returners’ are defined as:

• Qualified teachers who are working in another sector outside of teaching but have had a teaching post in the past (it does not matter how long ago they left teaching);

• Qualified teachers who have previously taught in the independent sector and are not currently teaching;

• Qualified teachers who may have had a career break (this does not include those just returning from an official period of maternity leave);

• Qualified teachers who are currently supply teaching.

They can expect one-to-one support from a dedicated adviser, including help in assessing their readiness to return to teach and access to helpful resources to build confidence; access to a subject specialist training course; and information  on vacancies in their local area, help with their application and interview tips. They may also qualify for a bursary of up to £600.

Successful schools will have to show the type of mentoring they plan to provide and how they can support part-time and flexible working for returners.

For more information, click here.

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