Analysis of the latest Government School workforce data has revealed teacher vacancies are at an all-time high, up 104% in the past 5 years, the highest since the school census began in 2010.
In the past academic year alone, total vacancies in the UK have nearly doubled (49%) reaching 2,334 in the 2022/23 period compared to 1,564 in 2021/22.
The data collated by specialist recruitment firm, Engage Education, revealed the UK regions suffering the most from the teacher recruitment crisis. London is the region hardest hit, with vacancies in outer London increasing by 83% in the past year, this was closely followed by the South East which was up 76% since 2022.
All but one UK region faced an increase in vacancies with Yorkshire and The Humber being the only region to face a reduction, having fallen 5% in the past year.
Further analysis of the data revealed the type of schools facing the most teaching vacancies. Secondary schools are by far, the most impacted with over 1,300 vacancies in the 2022/23 period compared with just 650 the year before (up 104%).
Recent figures also show that the Government has still not met recruitment targets for trainee secondary teachers: having reached only 59% of the target for trainees recruited for Initial teacher training in the year 2022/23, down from 79% in 2021/22.
Special Education Needs schools have also been hit hard by teacher vacancies, up 46% in the past year. This comes at a time when support for SEND students is needed, according to a survey by the Guardian. Almost all of England’s state schools (99%) are finding it difficult to support children with special educational needs.
STEM subjects hardest hit
The data also revealed some subjects are struggling more with recruitment than others, with STEM subjects witnessing the most significant rise in vacancies. Computing is up 295%, followed by Chemistry (216%) and Geography (196%):
- Computing- 295%
- Chemistry -216%
- Geography- 196%
- Combined science- 171%
- Technology- 158
- PE/sports- 129%
A 2022 report by the National Foundation for Educational Research also revealed there is a lack of physics, chemistry and maths teachers, with only 17% of the target to recruit 2,610 trainees achieved.
Joseph Raffell, Head of Education at Specialist recruitment firm, Engage Education said, “The rising number of teacher vacancies is continuing to cause concern in the education sector. The current shortages in some subjects make it more challenging for schools to provide high quality education to students across the country, especially when it comes to STEM subjects.
“Up and down the UK we’re seeing the problem deepen, we’re seeing more teachers leaving, and more experienced staff getting out earlier than they might have previously. The falling retention rates point to the ongoing issues around pay and working conditions in the industry.
“It’s more important than ever to focus on retaining staff, for both the students and the teachers. Schools should focus on providing opportunities for career growth through mentorship programmes and positive work environments”