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Secondary School Teacher Vacancies at a 5-year High


Newly found data reveals a current peak of vacancies for secondary school teachers.

The number of secondary school teacher vacancies has risen 12 per cent since 2020, with the figure (33,580) standing higher than any of the previous four years.

Research from TeachVac shows that there was a 47 per cent rise in the number of vacancies found in March 2022 (9,843) compared to March 2020 (6,811).

There are a few reasons which help explain why vacancies are so high, with the rate of teachers quitting also increasing after the pandemic.

Professor John Howson, a teacher at TeachVac, explained teachers could be resigning to switch to a tutoring profession or move abroad to teach to “reduce their hours, or even retire completely”.

The Teacher Labour Market’s annual report shows the number of teachers quitting is nearly back to pre-pandemic rates. Adding to this, the government failed to recruit the required amount of physics teachers last year.

The OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development) report shows that 57 per cent of lower-secondary school teachers felt that their workload was unmanageable. This could help to explain why so many teachers are leaving their roles. Full-time lower secondary school teachers in England reported working 49.3 hours a week, above the average of a 41-hour working week.

As well as this, the teacher pay has reportedly “lost competitiveness” when compared to similar roles. In response to this, ministers are promising to increase the minimum pay by over 16 per cent over the next two years.

As well as secondary school teachers, headteacher vacancies have also risen since 2020. Figures from TeachVac show there were 957 headteacher vacancies from January to March 2020, which have boosted to 1,125 this year.

With such a high teacher resignation and vacancy rate, many schools are brainstorming on how to keep their employees. Some are blaming the pandemic for sparking a teacher shortage crisis whilst others argue teacher retention has been a longstanding issue before Covid-19.

It’s clear that the pandemic has caused teacher morale to fall considerably low. For example, Times Education Supplement’s (TES) 2022 Wellbeing Report has found that only 40% of staff feel confident in their roles – which stood at 79% in 2020.

With secondary school teacher vacancies being at a five-year high, could we unlock your next new job?

If you would like to speak to one of our education career specialists, please call 0121 260 0000 or, please feel free to apply to one of the many education vacancies available: balfor.co.uk/education-jobs/