Schools are being forced to offer teachers in shortage subjects salary premiums of up to £10,000 extra a year as the recruitment crisis bites, TES can reveal.
Competition between heads to secure much-needed staff in a red hot recruitment market means the pay that some classroom teachers can command has sky-rocketed.
One Cambridgeshire headteacher has revealed that he is prepared to pay £10,000 more a year for a Spanish teacher than he was just 12 months ago. TES has also learned of a secondary willing to pay a head of science a £50,000 salary.
Headteachers' unions say salary hikes for teachers of shortage subjects are now widespread. Premiums of between £2,000 and £5,000 compared with two years ago are not uncommon, they say.
Russell Hobby, general secretary of the NAHT union, said £10,000 extra was at the "top end of the scale", but warned: "In the next couple of years, it is going to become even more challenging."
Early results from the forthcoming TES Recruitment Index – which will offer schools detailed analysis of the teacher supply market when it is published next month – show that the most sough-after teacher type in England is a secondary physics teacher in London.
"I have no idea what a physics teacher would cost me in London as they are so rare. You would have to prepare to invest," said Ben Thompson, headteacher of the Trinity Academy, a new free school in Brixton, South London, which has not yet had to recruit a physics specialist.