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Staff shortages in education sector. Review of existing research and recommendations for local policy of educational services


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Staff shortages in education sector are an important topic in international research in the field of education services and regional development. Even though this issue has gained importance also in Poland, it has not been explored by academics. Therefore, the objective of the paper is to de
scribe the processes responsible for teacher shortages and outline actions that would mitigate the risk
of unfilled vacancies in education sector which is an important role of regional policy. The literature review has demonstrated that the teacher recruitment process has become considerably longer and
often fails. This situation applies to many countries, a variety of education institutions and multiple
subject domains. Processes that clearly intensify staff shortages include the leakage of teachers who permanently leave the profession.  This phenomenon is particularly acute among young teachers and
in countries where teachers’ salaries are significantly lower compared to other sectors of the economy
and where teachers find it easy to get a different, more financially rewarding job. Next, staff shortages escalate also due to teacher aging and a growing interest in alternative career paths. Actions that successfully prevent these issues include, first of all, ensuring financial satisfaction. Decent salaries are a means to stop the trend where teachers are leaving the profession and improve the occupational prestige as well as boost the interest in teaching degrees among young people. More over, it is recommended that systemic support measures aimed at integrating and socialising young teachers into the school environment are implemented. Such measures include programmes and mentoring services where teachers can receive counselling and have opportunities for professional
development. Another way of mitigating staff shortages are high quality human resources policies,
i.e. staff retention where school principals are able to keep teachers in employment even though there is no vacancy for their subject. Thanks to that schools minimise staff turnover and can fill the
expected and future vacancies with competent specialists who are already familiar with the school
environment.

Published in:

Pirog, D. (2022). Emergence of staff shortages in education. Review of the state of research and recommendations for local policy in the field of educational services . Regional Development and Regional Policy , 15 (61), 131–148. https://doi.org/10.14746/rrpr.2022.61.10

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