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Teacher recruitment toughest in science, maths and geography, research suggests

Schools in the South West find it easiest to recruit teachers, while schools in Inner London are increasingly struggling to fill vacancies

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Schools in the South West find it easiest to recruit teachers, while schools in Inner London are increasingly struggling to fill vacancies

Secondary schools are finding it hardest to hire teachers in core EBacc subjects, with the exception of English, new research has suggested.

Data from the annual Tes Recruitment Index, which was launched in 2012, shows science teachers were the hardest to find this year, followed by maths and geography.

But recruitment has become easier in these subjects since 2015 – which was the toughest year for recruitment since 2012.

The index is based on the success rate of advertising with Tes in the period up to Easter – one of the busiest times for teacher recruitment. It shows that overall schools filled a higher proportion of vacant teaching posts advertised during Easter 2017 than in previous years. But it does not include data from schools that used other methods including supply agencies to fill vacancies.

Rob Grimshaw, chief executive of Tes, said: “There is good news in our latest Recruitment Index data. Schools are finding more success filling posts through vacancy advertising, but as ever the devil is in the detail.

“In certain regions, and for some key subjects, we find secondary schools are still finding it difficult to attract teachers.”

Recruitment difficulties

Of nine subjects included in the 2017 survey, recruitment efforts were most successful in PE.

In descending order, this was followed by art and design, English, design and technology, modern languages, history, geography, mathematics and science.

According to the index, over the last year recruitment through advertising improved the most in English, followed by design and technology, modern languages, maths and PE.

It got harder in art and design, history, geography and science.

Regional breakdown

A regional breakdown of the figures from Easter 2017 suggested recruitment was most difficult in inner London, the North East and the East of England and easiest in the South West.

Compared to 2016, recruitment had improved in the East of England, outer London, the South East, the South West, the West Midlands and Yorkshire and the Humber.

It has remained the same in the North West and got harder in the East Midlands, inner London, and the North East.

A spokesman for the Department for Education said: “There are now a record number of teachers in our schools – 15,500 more than in 2010 – and the fact that more than 32,000 new trainee teachers have been recruited in a competitive labour market, with historic low unemployment rates and a growing economy, shows that the profession continues to be an attractive career.

“We want to do all we can to help schools with recruitment which is why we have a range of generous bursaries designed to recruit more teachers in important subjects such as maths and physics. We are also creating a free website for schools to publish vacancies to help reduce costs and make it easier for aspiring and current teachers to find new posts.”

The parent company of Tes magazine advertises teacher vacancies and owns three teacher supply agencies

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