Teacher Vacancies

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:04 pm on 24 October 2001.

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Photo of Baroness Ashton of Upholland Baroness Ashton of Upholland Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Sure Start, Early Years and Childcare), Department for Education and Skills, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education and Skills) (Early Years and School Standards) 3:04, 24 October 2001

My Lords, I should make it clear that the definition we used for this purpose covered full-time appointments that had been advertised for at least one term. That should be put on the record so that the point is made absolutely clear.

The noble Baroness will know that we have not collected information on the shortage of teaching provision by subject since 1997, when we learnt that 82 per cent of secondary school lessons were being taught by those with appropriate qualifications. We are investigating whether we should now conduct a further survey, bearing in mind the need to ensure that we do not increase the load on teachers. Although we know that vacancy rates are high in certain subjects--maths at 2.1 per cent and ICT at 2.8 per cent--teacher shortages for the rest of the main subjects stand at under 2 per cent. We have looked carefully at the applicants coming into PGCE and other courses this year, recognising that there has been an increase in applications for those subjects where previously we had shortages.