Could an ‘Uber-style’ app help solve London’s teacher recruitment crisis?

It is thought that the app will alleviate the strain the sector currently faces, as the UK tackles the Brexit fallout and the world contends with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic

The Big Smoke has gained an ‘Uber-style’ app which many hope will help solve the city’s growing teacher recruitment crisis.

Designed by Premier Teachers, the Evolve Teachers app is set to serve secondary schools  in London, with founder Mike Donnelly stating that the tool could be used to ease a complex situation exacerbated by the continuing coronavirus pandemic, as well as the UK’s exit from the European Union in January this year.

Premier Teachers, the specialist education recruitment company, recently launched the app in two pilot areas – London and the North East of England – ahead of its nationwide rollout.

The new, tailor-made system streamlines the application process for permanent education jobs, allowing prospective candidates to apply for multiple vacancies from a single profile.

London’s school system could greatly benefit from the app, which provides authorities with a searchable database of potential applications who match their set criteria, speeding up the recruitment process and minimising costs.

Equipped with 15 years of teaching experience, Donnelly was inspired to create the app after experiencing the long and laborious process of applying for teaching roles, which often requires candidates to spend two to three hours filling out forms for each post. This ultimately restricts the potential pool of talent, discouraging people from applying.

According to the Education Policy Institute (EPI), the education labour market faces huge challenges ahead, since in 2019, pupil numbers remained the same as in 2007, while the number of teaching professionals declined by 7%. The teacher recruitment crisis is particularly evident in the UK capital – a particularly worrying issue considering that the sector predicts a 10% increase in the student population by 2023.

In previous years, London’s esteemed reputation meant it was consistently able to attract qualified teachers travelling on two-year working visas from Australia, New Zealand and Canada to help plug the gaps – alongside teachers venturing over from the EU.

In other news: Only 34% of UK pupils felt motivated to learn remotely throughout lockdown, according to study

Donnelly commented: “Schools in London were already struggling to fill teacher vacancies and the continuing effects of coronavirus, as well as uncertainty surrounding Brexit has effectively turned off this talent stream. The capital needs to attract qualified teachers from across the UK and this technology is a simple and effective way of doing so.

“This really is a game-changing ‘Uber-style’ app that brings the whole process of applying for a permanent teaching role into the 21st century, delivering huge advantages – in terms of time, cost reduction and ensuring schools recruit the right person for the right role.

“Evolve Teachers is completely unique and has been developed as an answer to a growing problem, and I believe it can help address the shortage of teachers in London’s schools.”

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