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Department for Education release new school workforce statistics

Last Thursday (​22nd June 2017), the DfE published their annual school workforce statistics. These are based on staff working in publicly funded schools in England, and include information on the recruitment and retention of teachers, the number of staff vacancies, pay and demographics of the workforce.

Executive Summary

  • The overall school workforce in England fell in 2016; the first reduction in total school headcount since 2011. This seems to have been driven by decreases in the total number of support staff.
  • There was a small increase in the number of Full Time Equivalent (FTE) teachers since 2015. This increase is being driven by an increase in the nursery/primary sector, with decrease seen for the secondary sector.
  • The report does highlight that this decrease in teachers at secondary level, is set against the backdrop of rising secondary pupil numbers.
  • Vacancies have increased since last year, although these vacancy figures are likely to under-represent the problem, due to the way the data is collected.  

School workforce in England: November 2016

  • The total number of support staff (headcount) has declined from 462,200 in 2015 to 450,900 in 2016 – a 2.4 % decrease  (or a reduction of 11,300 staff).
  • Within the secondary phase, the total number of FTE teachers decreased by 2,700; from 210.9 thousand FTEs in 2015 to 208.2 thousand FTEs in 2016 (a 1.3 per cent decrease)
  • These trends are also reflected in the number of FTE teaching assistants, with an increase in teaching assistants seen in the nursery/primary sector, and a decrease in numbers in the secondary sector.
  • Within the nursery/primary phase, the total number of FTE teaching assistants increased by 1.8 per cent from 174.5 thousand in 2015 to 177.7 thousand in 2016.
  • Within the secondary phase, the total number of FTE teaching assistants decreased by 4.2 per cent; from 52.3 thousand FTEs in 2015 to 50.1 thousand in 2016.
  • The total number of teachers without QTS increased between 2015 and 2016; from 22.5 thousand FTEs in 2015 to 24.0 thousand FTEs in 2016.
  • The average salary for all full and part-time head teachers (incl. Executive Heads) was £68,300 in 2016.
  • In November 2016, there were 920 vacancies for full-time permanent teachers in state-funded schools, a rate of 0.3 per cent. This is an increase since 2015, where there were 730 vacancies; a rate of 0.2 per cent.
  • A further 3,280 full-time posts (0.9 per cent) were being temporarily filled by a teacher on a contract of at least one term but less than one year (an increased rate of 0.1 percentage point since 2015).
  • In 2016, 12.3 per cent of all schools reported having at least one advertised vacancy or temporarily-filled post on the census day in November.

About the data:

  • 140 schools (0.6% of all open schools) in the November 2016 census did not supply usable data and estimates for these schools have been included in the figures.