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Six-fold rise in teacher vacancies under Tories, TUC analysis shows

TEACHER vacancy rates have risen in nearly nine in 10 local authorities in England since 2010, new TUC analysis reveals.

Official data shows the total has risen nearly six-fold, with 2,100 teacher vacancies in November 2023 — compared with just 355 in November 2010.

The analysis found that south-east and east England are the worst-affected regions.

New polling meanwhile shows nearly two in five education staff are considering leaving the profession.

The growth in vacancies coincides with England having one of the worst pupil-to-teacher ratios in the OECD group of developed economies.

The ratios have risen from 17.6 to 18.5 for schools overall, and 15.4 to 17.2 for secondary schools amid the recruitment and retention crisis.

Last year, ministers recruited just 17 per cent of their target number for physics teachers, 44 per cent for science teachers and 63 per cent for maths.

TUC general secretary Paul Nowak said: “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.”

National Education Union general secretary Daniel Kebede said: “This is the true legacy of 14 years in power — a profession decimated by high workload and persistent real-terms pay cuts, and a government with no answers.

“Teachers now top the polls for unpaid overtime hours.

“[Education Secretary] Gillian Keegan must accept the reasons why staff are so stretched, and given to finding work elsewhere: the disregard this government has for education.”

NASUWT general secretary Dr Patrick Roach argued that change can only come from a government committed to delivering a new deal for teachers and for children’s education.

National Association of Head Teachers general secretary Paul Whiteman said: “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.”

The study comes as polling by the Sutton Trust found three-quarters of primary school head teachers have cut the number of teaching assistants this year.

Cuts to extracurricular activity spending are the deepest since the trust’s records began in 2017.

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