ASCL comment on growing number of teacher vacancies

Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, responds to new data from the Department for Education, which shows that teaching vacancies have doubled over the last two years.
“The fact that teacher vacancies have doubled in the past two years is bad enough. But this is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of a recruitment and retention crisis which is affecting virtually every school and college in the country. What we hear is that it is a constant struggle to fill vacancies which often requires readvertising for posts, filling gaps with supply staff, and using non-subject specialists to teach classes. All of this adds to the workload and pressure on school and college leaders, as well as existing staff, and it puts at risk educational provision for children. The reason for this desperate state of affairs is the fact that the government has implemented years of real-terms pay cuts, inadequate funding levels, and an eye-watering system of performance tables and Ofsted inspections, all of which is deterring recruits and driving out teachers. We cannot go on like this. Leaders, teachers, children and parents all deserve better from the government than complacency and neglect.”