Recruitment worries, but county fares well

Concerns have been raised nationally about the number of teaching vacancies, but the picture is looking rosier in Northumberland.

There were 920 vacancies for full-time permanent teachers in state-funded schools in England last year, according to the latest Government data.

A further 3,280 full-time posts were being temporarily filled on a contract of at least one term but less than a year, the figures reveal.

But in Northumberland, the 2016 figures for local authority-maintained schools and academies at primary and secondary level show that there was just one full-time vacant post and nine full-time temporarily-filled posts.

Union leaders have blamed the high vacancies on an escalating teacher recruitment and retention crisis, fuelled by excessive workload and year-on-year cuts to teachers’ pay, but the figures show that the issue varies by region with the most challenging recruitment problems in London boroughs at both primary and secondary level.

A report from the Education Select Committee, published in February, says recruitment targets for teaching had been consistently missed and the teacher shortage is getting worse.

However, a Department for Education spokesman argued that there are now more teachers in our schools than ever before – 15,500 more since 2010.

He said: “We take teacher recruitment very seriously with a significant programme designed to encourage more good graduates to choose teaching as a career.”


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