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Email: press.office@naht.org.uk 

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NAHT responds to 20% surge in teacher vacancies

Commenting on new government data published today, which shows teacher vacancies have jumped by a fifth to 2,800, and more than doubled from 1,100 over the last three years, Paul Whiteman, general secretary at school leaders’ union NAHT, said:

“These alarming figures are stark evidence of the recruitment and retention crisis facing our schools and the need for whoever forms the next government to commit to urgent action to address this.

“We have 18,000 more pupils in our schools this year, but the number of new teachers has fallen by almost 4,000, and nearly as many are leaving the profession as are starting out in it.

“Teacher vacancies inevitably mean difficulties delivering the full curriculum, and subjects being taught by non-specialists and supply teachers.

“Government measures so far, including the introduction of the Early Career Framework programme targeted at supporting teachers within their first two years, have failed to get to grips with the situation.

“What is needed is fundamental changes to restore teaching as a profession to aspire to. That means reversing more than a decade of real terms pay cuts over the next Parliament, reducing workload, and reforming the harmful high-stakes Ofsted inspections, including an end to blunt single-word grades.

“Without action, children’s education and future prospects will inevitably be harmed, despite the best efforts of dedicated school leaders and teachers.”

First published 06 June 2024