Former teachers are being encouraged to consider a return to the profession, following the launch of a free Return to Teaching programme.
According to the latest Department for Education statistics, about 14,000 former teachers return to the profession in England every year.
But after a few years out of the classroom, the decision to return can be a daunting one, particularly with so many recent changes to the education system.
Essex County Council has therefore launched a new Return to Teaching programme, which aims to give former teachers the confidence, knowledge and support to go back to teaching.
Starting at the end of next month, the intensive course is suitable for both primary and secondary-trained teachers and is free to participants.
It aims to get them ready for a post starting in September and will include three full days of professional development, covering curriculum changes and classroom management, as well as support with job applications and interview preparation.
The course is being funded by a strategic group set up to explore and implement new teacher recruitment and retention strategies in Essex.
The group includes representatives from Essex County Council, the Association of Secondary Headteachers in Essex (ASHE), the Essex Primary Headteachers’ Association (EPHA), Essex Special School Education Trust (ESSET) and the Diocese of Chelmsford Vine Schools Trust.
Cllr Ray Gooding, Essex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Education and Lifelong Learning, said: “A strong supply of good quality teachers is vital if the progress being made by the county’s schools is to be maintained and pupils are to receive the best possible education.
“We are continuing to actively support schools with the ongoing challenge of recruitment and attracting talented teachers back to the profession would be a big boost to education in Essex.
“Whether people have taken time out of the profession to raise a family, pursue another career, or for any other reason, our new programme could give them the help and support they need to return to teaching.
“With nine in ten Essex schools currently rated as good or outstanding by Ofsted and many schools offering flexible and part-time roles, there has arguably never been a better time to return to the classroom.”
Applications for the Return to Teaching programme must be made by Friday 10 March.