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Report highlights crisis in teacher recruitment

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Report highlights crisis in teacher recruitment

A recruitment crisis in English schools is being made worse by huge turnover rates among teachers, according to a new report.

The TUC said its research suggested that teacher vacancies have increased in nearly nine in 10 English local authorities since 2010.

The growth in vacancies coincides with England having one of the worst pupil-to-teacher ratios in the OECD, said the union organisation.

According to the latest official data, there were 2,100 teacher vacancies across England in November 2023 – compared to 355 in November 2010, said the TUC.

The South East and East of England were said to be the worst affected regions, with all of their local authorities reporting increases in teacher vacancies since 2010.

The only subjects where the Government has met, or exceeded, its teacher recruitment targets are history and physical education, according to the study.

The TUC said a recruitment and retention crisis has been worsened by excessive workloads and multiple years of real-terms pay cuts.

Its analysis indicated that the value of teachers pay has been cut by £172 per week between 2010 and 2023.

Teachers are more likely to do regular unpaid overtime than any other profession, TUC research found.

TUC general secretary Paul Nowak said: “Every child deserves a good education but the Conservatives have left us with crumbling classrooms and a crisis in recruiting and retaining the teachers we need.

“Everyone can see the huge pressures on schools. After years of deep pay cuts and soaring workloads, teachers are being driven out of the profession.

“We can’t go on like this. We need a government that will treat teachers well and invest more in our schools so that every child can flourish.”

Paul Whiteman, general secretary at school leaders’ union NAHT, said: “The Government has failed to hit its recruitment targets and this is damaging our children’s education.

“Teachers and leaders are managing alarming gaps in every part of education. This is fuelled by a collapse in graduates going into teacher training, more recently qualified teachers quitting, and experienced teachers preferring to leave the profession rather than take on the responsibility of the leadership.”

A Department for Education spokesperson said: “We now have more teachers than ever before, with over 468,000 teachers in the workforce, a 27,000 increase on 2010.

“To ensure we continue to recruit and retain high-quality teachers, we have undertaken the biggest reform of training and development in a generation, and last autumn, teachers received the largest pay award in over 30 years and a starting salary of £30,000.

“We also offer bursaries and scholarships of up to £30,000 tax-free for chemistry, computing, mathematics and physics teachers to ensure that teachers are recruited in the subject areas they are needed most.”

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