THE DIRECTOR of a programme that trains teachers is encouraging residents to sign up for this year's course as “teaching is more important than ever”.

Kelly Richens, is the director of The Basingstoke Alliance SCITT’s (BSCITT), which provides high-quality teacher training and mentoring throughout a one-year training programme.

Over the last six years, they have trained over 150 teachers for schools in and around Basingstoke.

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Kelly Richens, director of BSCITT, said: “Nationally teacher recruitment is down, and it is just about trying to get the message out there that there is a really rewarding career and to encourage people to come to information evenings and to find out more about it to see all the great things about the profession.

“It is rewarding, and you get the chance to change children’s lives and it is a really a secure job."

Figures published by the Department for Education show that only 82 per cent of the secondary teachers needed for England in 2021-22 have been recruited to a teacher training course.

Cllr Roz Chadd, Hampshire County Council’s executive lead member for children’s services, said: “Recruitment is managed at a local level by the individual schools therefore, we are unable to confirm the position on the level of vacancies in the Basingstoke and Deane borough. However, clearly this is likely to be a frequently changing picture as vacancies are filled and others become available. We hear from our engagement with schools in Hampshire, that the main issue they are facing is in the recruitment of support staff.

“Teacher supply is an issue nationally, but we are optimistic for Hampshire as we have seen many more students going to university in recent years and are hopeful that, as a result, the number seeking teaching as a future career, given that it is a graduate entry profession, will increase.”

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BSCITT train people from the age of 21 and Kelly said teaching is one of “the most” rewarding professions that “makes a difference”.

She added: “It's even more important at the moment because of the hard time's children have had and that impact will last many, many years.”

She hopes the new cohort of teachers can “catch the children up and inspire them”.

Trainees spend time at two different schools in Hampshire including Basingstoke and the course will start in September.

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