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National Computing Centre Grapples with CPD Recruitment Amid Workforce Shortages

National Computing Centre Grapples with CPD Recruitment Amid Workforce Shortages

The National Centre for Computing Education (NCCE) is facing challenges in meeting its targets for Continued Professional Development (CPD) due to workforce shortages, hindering teachers’ ability to dedicate time to training sessions.

Data released recently revealed that the NCCE, a recipient of an £84 million government-funded contract, received a rating of ‘requires improvement’ concerning the number of teachers completing five hours of CPD to enhance their proficiency in computing.

The report for the period from October to December 2023 cited persistent difficulties in achieving CPD targets, attributing the shortfall to the constraints of teacher capacity and the inability to allocate time away from the classroom for training purposes.

“While targets have escalated during this quarter, there hasn’t been a corresponding surge in teachers fulfilling five hours of CPD, primarily due to ongoing challenges with teacher availability and the release of classroom duties,” the data outlined.

In response to these constraints, computing hubs are adapting by offering shorter, more frequent courses throughout the year. The Department for Education (DfE) acknowledged the necessity of revising key performance indicators (KPIs) to better align with the realities of teacher schedules.

The NCCE, operating nationally through a network of computing hubs, aims to bolster the provision of high-quality computing education across schools and colleges.

Pepe Di’Iasio, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), underscored the urgency for the DfE to address underlying issues causing workforce strain rather than tinkering with metrics.

“Teacher shortages and workload pressures are at the crux of this issue. CPD opportunities are vital, but so is having educators present in classrooms,” Di’Iasio emphasized.

The government’s commitment to alleviating workload pressures includes proposals from the workload reduction taskforce, aimed at fulfilling pledges to reduce school staff’s working hours. Additionally, a forthcoming recruitment and retention strategy update aims to address systemic challenges in the education sector.

Acknowledging the complexities, a spokesperson for STEM Learning emphasized their collaboration with computing hubs to tailor CPD offerings to teachers’ timetables, ensuring accessibility amidst staffing challenges.

The DfE echoed this sentiment, reaffirming the significance of CPD for educators and highlighting ongoing efforts to optimize training opportunities within the constraints of teacher schedules.

As the NCCE navigates workforce woes, stakeholders stress the importance of holistic solutions to address underlying workforce shortages and workload pressures, ensuring sustained support for educators’ professional development.



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