The former head of UK education regulator, OFSTED, Sir Michael Wilshaw has issued a stark warning to international schools in the UAE, saying they must start, ‘implementing a proactive recruitment strategy,’ if they hope to attract and retain the best international teaching staff.
Speaking to media on his recent appointment to senior adviser for education strategy for GEMS Education, he said teachers nowadays expected prospective schools to offer professional development.
“It’s really important, I think, that head teachers, whether they are in Dubai, in the UAE, or in the UK, have a really proactive strategy to recruit teachers and to train them, professionally develop them, and by doing so, retain them.
"Retention is as important as recruitment, actually, and if you can retain staff… because they’re happy in a school, because they feel they are being professionally developed and supported… then they tend to stay.”
He went on to say the competition for teachers is “intense”, saying “there’s a global supply-side issue, there’s a global shortage of teachers. So, it’s critical that there’s a real good recruitment strategy. But also when people are employed as a teacher, that they are trained and they are professionally developed to improve.”
Wilshaw’s new role at GEMS Education will see him focus on the long-term strategy for the group’s 88 world-wide schools, plus develop and strengthen private-public partnerships.
GEMS said in a recent statement that Wilshaw is to focus on the group’s low-cost schools in India and South East Asia, “which will further add to the wide variety of educational options that GEMS provides across multiple curriculum and price points”.