No longer just a London problem

8th September 2000 at 01:00
TEACHER recruitment is no longer just a London problem - schools in the Midlands and parts of the North are now beginning to feel the pinch.

One in six of the secondary jobs advertised nationally for September was in London and more than a quarter of the vacancies remain unfilled, the new TES survey has revealed.

Although the capital's shortages are the most dramatic, and are being plugged by increasing numbers of supply teachers, there are now serious problems in core subjects across the country.

Recruitment analyst John Howson, visiting professor at Oxford Brookes University, said: "The problem has now spread beyond London. It is a national issue."

Chris Waterman, general secretary of the Society of Education Officers, said:

"The shortage of high-quality teachers is the most worrying challenge facing the education system."

At least one in five of the vacancies for English teachers advertised for September in the North-east, North Yorkshire and the Humber, the West Midlands and the East of England, remains unfilled. The proportion of unfilled English vacancies ranges from 12 per cent in Wales and the North-west to 18per cent in the South-east.

Nearly a quarter of maths vacancies in North Yorkshire and the East of England, are unfilled and the position is slightly worse in the West Midlands at 27 per cent.

TheNorth-east had the lowest percentage of unfilled maths posts but the second highest for science (18 per cent). The worst was the South-west (20 per cent).

All regions except Wales experienced difficulty filling technology vacancies.One in five modern languages vacancies advertised for schools in North Yorkshire remains unfilled while in the South-west and South-east around a quarter of information technology vacancies are still empty. Teachers are still needed for nearly one in four RE vacancies in East Midlands schools though geography and history enjoy some of the best take-up rates.Recruitment to special needs posts in mainstream schools is disastrous across the country with the North-east, East and West Midlands and the South-west all unable to fill around a third of the posts advertised.

Selective schools meanwhile are only marginally more

attractive than comprehensives to teachers seeking a new job, the survey shows.

The average number of applicants per advertised post is 7.5 for selective schools compared with 6.3 for comprehensives. Both have similar levels of unfilled vacancies.

Secondary moderns are the least popular, averaging 3.4 applicants per vacancy, while recruitment caused the least problems for private schools, averaging 14.9 applications per post and having just 5 per cent of vacancies unfilled.

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