Teacher vacancies at Barnet schools rose significantly last year

Teaching vacancies advertised by primary and secondary schools across Barnet rose significantly last year, new figures suggest.

By Andrew Dowdeswell, Data Reporter

a teacher and students in a classroom
Photo: RADAR

Teaching vacancies advertised by primary and secondary schools across Barnet rose significantly last year, new figures suggest.

The Association of School and College Leaders said teacher shortages are at a “crisis point” and urged the Government to address falling recruitment and retention.

Data from teaching jobs site TeachVac shows primary and secondary schools in Barnet posted 1,052 vacancies through its website over the course of last year – up by 85% on 569 the year before.

Of these, 136 were advertised by primary schools and 916 by secondary schools.

Across England, teacher vacancies increased significantly in 2022 as the profession faced increasing recruitment and retention pressures following the coronavirus pandemic – job listings on TeachVac increased from 64,283 in 2021 to 107,104 last year.

The City of London – which has a very small residential population – was the only area to see the number of advertised teaching vacancies decrease.

Some jobs can be listed more than once if they are not initially filled, and not every teaching vacancy is posted to the TeachVac site.

The ASCL said teacher shortages are in crisis, with 95% of schools reporting they have struggled to recruit new teachers in the past.

Geoff Barton, general secretary of the ASCL, said the Government repeatedly misses trainee recruitment targets, and nearly a third of new teachers leave the profession within five years of qualifying.

Mr Barton said: “This is the result of a decade of real terms pay cuts which have eroded the value of salaries and workload pressures caused by government underfunding of education, leaving staff doing more work with fewer resources.

“If schools cannot put teachers in front of classes, they cannot possibly maintain and improve educational standards.

“The Government must work with the profession on a strategy to improve teacher recruitment and retention and back this up with sufficient funding.”

Across the country, the increase in teacher vacancies through TeachVac was largely driven by state schools, where job advertisements increased by 68% in 2022, compared with 52% for independent schools.

In Barnet, state school advertisements jumped by 116%, while private school vacancies fell by 31%.

Dr Patrick Roach, general secretary of teaching trade union NASUWT, said: “The crisis in teacher recruitment and retention is the product of 12 years of failure by a government that has lost the confidence of the teaching profession.

“It is little wonder that the Government’s failure to invest in the profession has resulted in many experienced teachers and headteachers quitting the profession prematurely as a consequence of real terms pay cuts and ever-rising workload pressures.”

The Department for Education said there are 24,000 more teachers working in state-funded schools than in 2010.

A spokesperson said tax-free bursaries worth up to £27,000 and a new £3,000 premium encourage trainees to teach subjects including maths, physics, chemistry and computing.

They added: “We are making the highest pay awards in a generation – 5% for experienced teachers and more for those early in their careers, including an up to 8.9% increase to starting salary.”

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