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New analysis reveals England’s need for 47,000 extra secondary teachers

Calculations carried out by TES has shown that England needs 47,000 more secondary school teachers by 2024 if it is to meet the challenge of rising pupil numbers and stay in line with average pupil-teacher ratios.

TES noted that the fact that a rise in the overall number of teachers has masked a significant impending shortage at secondary level.

In primary schools, the number of teachers has risen considerably from a low of 196,400 in 2010 to 222,300 in 2016, with this increase in numbers being in line with an increase in primary pupil numbers over this period.

The picture in secondary schools is very different, with the number of teachers falling from 222,400 in 2009 to 208,100 in 2016. However, despite a recruitment crisis already being felt, its effect has been softened by a decline in secondary pupil numbers, falling from 3.3 million in 2005 to 3.1 million in 2014. But now, the demographic tables are turning, as the bulge in primary numbers moves on, the number of secondary pupils is expected to climb steeply to 3.8 million by 2024.

To stay in line with the average secondary pupil-teacher ratio, TES has calculated that an additional 47,000 secondary teachers will be needed by 2024; this represents a 22.5% increase on the number of secondary teachers already in the system.

The number of applications to train as a secondary teacher has fallen 16% year on year, which is set to result in a smaller pool of potential new teachers from which to draw. There are significant challenges in meeting targets for teacher enrolment in some key subjects, such as modern foreign languages and maths, and the 47,000 calculation does not take into account of teachers already in the system leaving and needing to be replaced. Teacher recruitment was one of the top issues members wished NGA to lobby government on in our annual membership survey.


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