Schoolzone | Teacher shortages in England: analysis and pay options

Teacher shortages in England: analysis and pay options

Date: 29.04.2020

The new research considers schools and subjects with the greatest teacher shortfalls, and whether schools with workforce pressures have been able to provide incentives to attract new teachers. The study also scrutinises the government’s proposals to boost teacher salaries by 2022. 


Key findings

The teaching profession is facing acute recruitment and retention challenges

  • The teacher labour market in England faces huge challenges
  • A pupil population bulge is now hitting secondary schools
  • Teachers are much more likely to exit during their first few years of teaching
  • Teacher exit rates are far more severe in shortage subjects such as maths, sciences and languages
  • A growing proportion of exits from the profession are due to career moves to other non-teaching jobs.

These challenges are even greater for schools in disadvantaged areas

  • Disadvantaged schools also report greater difficulties in filling teaching posts
  • Teachers in disadvantaged schools outside London are also more likely to be off sick than those in more affluent schools
  • Problems are particularly pronounced in subjects such as maths, sciences and languages
  • Higher pay for graduates in roles outside of teaching is likely to be driving teacher shortages in maths and science subjects
  • Except for in London, disadvantaged schools are failing to use funding streams such as the Pupil Premium and other pay freedoms
  • Average teacher pay in shortage subjects in disadvantaged schools is around £1,500 lower than in the most affluent schools
  • The picture is different in London, where disadvantaged schools are on average paying an extra £1,500 per year to teachers in shortage subjects.

The government is starting to address these problems with higher starting salaries and pay incentives, but current plans do not go far enough

  • The government has recently announced higher salaries of £30,000 for new teachers from September 2022.
  • However, these measures do not go far enough: disadvantaged schools are much less likely to secure increases in school funding in 2020. 


You can download the full report here.

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