Fewer jobs up for grabs

23rd May 2003 at 01:00
The number of teacher vacancies in England has fallen for the second year running, judging by the latest government statistics.

There were 3,400 teaching vacancies in January, a vacancy rate of 0.8 per cent. More recruits and fewer pupils should push the figure down further , as should the current spending squeeze.

Vacancies in primary schools are down by more than 600, or more than 40 per cent, in just one year. They are now at the lowest level since before 1997.

However, with more primary teachers graduating this summer, the vacancies total could be below 500 next January. This would be lower than the previous best total of 762, recorded in 1994, at the height of the last recruitment boom.

Special schools are still having trouble finding staff. At 56 vacancies per 1,000 posts the rate in inner London is unacceptably high; and outer London is not far behind.

Vacancies in secondary schools, where rolls are generally rising, have only dropped from 11 per 1,000 last year to 10 this January. This is close to their record highs, despite little or no improvement in pupil-teacher ratios.

The good news is that vacancies have fallen in all subject areas, apart from IT and business studies. Nevertheless, many subjects still have vacancy levels at least double the 1997 rates.

Overall, these figures are good news for schools, parents and the Government. However, finding a teaching post in the next few years may be tougher than at any time since the mid-1990s.

John Howson is a visiting professor at Oxford Brookes University and a director of Education Data Surveys

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today