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Just 377 students enrol on Early Years Teacher course

By Rachel Lawler
 
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A new report from Save the Children has warned that Early Years Teachers are “leaving the sector due to poor pay, progression and conditions”.
 
It All Starts Here says that there is a “growing crisis” in early years recruitment as just 365 students enrolled on an Early Years Initial Teacher Training course in the 2018/2019 academic year.
 
This is a decrease of 84% since 2013/2014, when there were 2,327 students enrolling on an Early Years Initial Teacher Training course.
 
Salary concerns
The report said that just 13% of Early Years Teachers who responded to an online survey said that their qualification had improved their pay, with many respondents reporting that they did not earn much more than the minimum wage.
 
Many Early Years Teachers said that they were being paid the same, or just slightly more than, a level three practitioner.
 
Increased costs
Meanwhile, 79% of managers who responded said that they did not currently employ an Early Years Teacher because of the increased costs.
 
Save the Children is calling on the government to target investment to support Early Years Teachers, improve career support and increase awareness of existing funding to help staff train as an Early Years Teacher.
 
High-quality practitioners
Neil Leitch, chief executive of the Alliance, said: ““Save the Children is right to argue that more must be done to ensure the early years sector is able to both recruit and retain high-quality practitioners. With salaries in the sector among the lowest across all industries, and a continued lack of funding preventing many providers investing in adequate professional development and training for their staff, we are seeing far too many excellent practitioners making the difficult decision to leave the sector.
 
“This is not, however, just an issue facing early years teachers. There are many passionate and dedicated practitioners in the sector who, while they may not have a degree, have a wealth of experience and a in-depth knowledge of child development.
 
“With the number of ‘good’ and ‘outstanding’ providers at an all time high, it’s short-sighted to suggest efforts to improve child outcomes should be focused on Early Years Teachers alone. If government wants to ensure all children, and especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds, get the best possible start in life, it needs to take action to support and retain all high-quality practitioners, and not just those with graduate-level qualifications.”
 
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