Bristol schools are facing a teacher ‘crisis’ – as the number of unfilled positions rises.
Campaigners blamed ‘low pay and excessive workloads’ on why so many teachers were quitting the profession.
New government figures published on June 27 revealed there were 12 full-time teacher vacancies across schools in the city as of November 2018.
That was more than double the five seen in 2017 and is the highest since 2015, when there were 15 unfilled positions.
Teacher vacancies include positions that have been advertised but remain unfilled.
The 12 teacher vacancies in Bristol affected eight schools in the city.
Oasis Academy New Oak, in Hengrove, had three vacancies, while Bristol Brunel Academy, in Speedwell, and Oasis Academy Brightstowe, in Shirehampton, had two each.
Chester Park Infant School, Evergreen Primary Academy, Cotham School, Bristol Metropolitan Academy, in Fishponds, and Kingsweston School all had one unfilled position.
Chris Keates, general secretary of the teachers’ union NASUWT, said: “Despite Government claims to the contrary there is a crisis in teacher supply.
“Since 2010, year on year cuts to teachers’ pay, workload spiralling out of control, punitive performance management policies and regular denigration of the profession by ministers and their supporters have made teaching uncompetitive and unattractive.
“It is the Government’s policies which have resulted in excessive and increasing teacher workloads, dwindling pay, starting salaries which are increasingly uncompetitive with other graduate professions and the relentless pressure of the high-stakes accountability regime.
“These factors are driving existing teachers out of the profession, sapped of energy and enthusiasm for the job, and deterring new entrants.
“Children and young people are being short changed by this government as they cannot receive their entitlement to high quality education when talented teachers are leaving and potential recruits can find jobs in other graduate occupations which recognise and better reward their talents.
“The crisis will not end until the Government takes responsibility for and takes action to address the devastating impact of its relentless attacks on teachers’ pay, workload and working conditions.”
What’s happening around the rest of the country?
Overall in England there were 987 unfilled full-time teacher jobs in England last year.
That was up from 944 the year before and is at its highest since 2014 (1,025).
Figures are not available at a local level but, nationally, the rate at which teachers quit after just a year of qualifying is at a record high.
There were 23,820 new qualified teachers as of November 2017.
Within a year, though, more than one in every seven – or (3,646) had left their job.
That is the same as 15.3% of newly-qualified teachers and is the highest proportion since records began in 1996.
What does the Government have to say?
Nick Gibb, minister for Minister School Standards said: “The number of teachers in our schools remains high, with more than 453,000 now working in schools across the country to inspire the next generation of young people.
“Last year also saw an additional 34,500 new trainee teachers recruited, despite an extremely competitive labour market and the lowest levels of unemployment for decades, showing that teaching continues to be an attractive profession.
“We do recognise there is more to do to continue to attract and retain talented individuals in our classrooms, which is why we launched the first-ever Teacher Recruitment & Retention Strategy earlier this year.
“This landmark strategy included the biggest teaching reform in a generation – the Early Career Framework – providing the solid foundations for a successful career in teaching, backed by at least £130 million a year in extra funding when fully rolled out.”
- The figures reflect the situation as of November 2018 – so it is possible some of the vacant teacher positions have since filled.