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‘Application Apathy’ Hurting Teacher and Schools


‘Application apathy’ among UK teachers is disincentivising many from applying for new jobs, and potentially having a negative impact on school morale and pupils’ education, according to the results of a new survey* and report — The Invisible Barrier — by Randstad Education.

Two thirds (66%) of the teachers polled by Randstad said they have failed to complete an application for a job because the process is too time-consuming and requires an energy they simply do not have after their teaching commitments.

And even when they do complete an application, a significant percentage of teachers respond to only one vacancy: just over a third (34%) said they applied for one position alone because of the time involved.

An overwhelming nine in 10 teachers, meanwhile, have said they would welcome a simple and universal application process that would streamline the entire process and enable them to apply for multiple jobs more easily.

The latest findings from Randstad Education, published in two of the busiest months for teacher recruitment — September and October — follow a separate poll of 1365 teachers by the recruiter in March, where 30% of respondents said they are considering leaving the sector in the next 12 months.

Stewart McCoy, Strategic Operations Director (Randstad Education), commented:

“Application apathy is gripping the profession and is adding to the already drastic impact of teacher shortages on schools. At a time when many teachers are considering leaving the sector, having others languishing in roles and schools they would rather not be because they are disincentivised from applying for new roles cannot be good for either school morale or pupils’ education.

“With a third of teachers tending to apply for just the one role, for schools themselves it is more important than ever to stand out from the crowd by clearly defining their vision, demonstrating their leadership and promoting their results. Failure to promote themselves could mean schools face a teacher drought and miss out on the dynamism and impetus that comes with new staff.”