Turning the tide on teacher recruitment
After bursaries for RE teacher trainees were removed for 2013/14, recruitment had dropped to just 71% of the Government target. Despite RE training bursaries being reinstated in October 2015, the damage was already done and there was a significant lag in applications. 3:nine was tasked to devise and implement a campaign to raise awareness of the new financial support and reverse the decline.
Based on stakeholder research, the theme ‘Beyond the Ordinary’ was chosen to convey the uniqueness of the subject, which allows teachers and students to explore complex spiritual, philosophical and societal issues, and appeal to aspirations of Millennials and career changers looking for a career with a difference.
The decline in recruitment was reversed. By September the following year the number of trainees placed had increased 8% versus 2014. The legacy of the campaign continued. By February 2016, RE teacher trainee applications were up 35% year-on-year. The Times reported on the campaign’s success in February 2016: ‘Surge in graduates who want to teach RE’.