Education – Project detail

Education – Project detail

Image:  Cambridge Arts Theatre

Objective 1: To articulate and propose solutions for teacher shortages in the Cambridgeshire region

Teacher shortages are a growing problem – the lack of regional pay weighting, high inflationary costs particularly in the housing market, and schools outside our region being able to poach teachers with salary incentives – which all combined has created an even bigger shortfall in recruiting and retaining talented teachers. In 2016 we worked with RAND Europe to develop an evidence-based position based on detailed analysis of the Department for Education School Workforce (SWF) Census to explore working conditions (pay, type of contract and employment status) and flows (numbers of new entries and leavers) of teachers in Cambridgeshire as compared to elsewhere in the country between 2010 and 2015.

During 2017 we will publish this research and our anticipated outcome will look to address 3 things: –

  1. The Cambridge evidence-based position and what we need to achieve to make a material difference locally
  2. Investigating examples of what the business community is doing elsewhere to address the issue that we can learn from
  3. Proposing ideas of how businesses can provide solutions/ interventions to improve teacher shortages

Ultimately we aim to provide input that not only affects our region but that can help to advise government on how to remedy the shortage in teacher supply.

Objective 2: To secure a fairer funding policy across all Cambridgeshire Schools

Cambridgeshire remains one of the poorest educationally-funded regions in the country (137 out of 151 boroughs in 2016-17). The current funding formula disadvantages Cambridge due to our population but more critically our growth which is more than double the national average. We are seeking from the Government both an interim payment and a longer-term solution that works for the region.

During 2016 we worked alongside the County Council in providing data to help them put a strong case together for presenting a needs-based formula as part of the current process that is relevant to a growing economy. In the later part of the year we also began dialogue with Justine Greenings’ office and will continue to press for resolution for fair school funding.

An update on the proposed National Funding Formula was issued at the start of January 2017. Should this be implemented, Cambridgeshire schools would gain by around £6.3m, there would be a number of winners and losers at individual school level. The County Council are preparing a response which will be supported by Cambridge Ahead.

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