05 June 2020
NFER’s annual Teacher Labour Market report series, funded by the Nuffield Foundation, aims to monitor the progress the school system is making towards meeting the teacher supply challenge by measuring the key indicators and trends of teacher supply and working conditions. This second annual report presents data from a range of sources, which together highlight the trends that describe the teacher supply situation, up to 2018/19.
Recruitment and retention trends suggest that teacher supply in England is very likely to remain an important issue over the next few years. There are some early signs of progress, but the trends are a sharp reminder that the profession is facing many challenges attracting and keeping teachers in our school.
- Despite the number of entries to postgraduate secondary teacher training increasing in 2019/20 compared to the year before, secondary recruitment remains substantially below the numbers required to meet demand. The recruitment situation has significantly worsened for perennial shortage subjects such as physics, maths, modern foreign languages and chemistry.
- Teachers work longer term-time hours than other professionals in a typical week, but the latest data suggests that teachers’ working hours reduced by one hour per week in 2018/19. This may be emerging evidence that the substantial joint campaign launched by DfE, Ofsted and teaching unions in March 2018, which aimed to reduce teacher workload, is having some success. There is also evidence that teachers’ perceptions of their workload may also be improving.
- The secondary teacher leaving rate has fallen by 0.5 percentage points in 2018/19, which represents 1,350 teachers: nearly half of the under-recruitment to initial teacher training in 2019/20. However, the retention rate of newly qualified teachers into their second year of teaching has continued to fall, as has the rate for second years going into their third year.