As the member knows, responsibility for the recruitment of staff sits directly with local authorities and not with national Government. National Government’s responsibility is around funding, and I have just detailed the baselining of funding that we have provided to local authorities to ensure that they can recruit extra teachers on permanent contracts.
Figures published show that teacher numbers are increasing; indeed, they are doing so for the fifth year in a row. There are now more teachers than at any time since 2008 and the ratio of pupils to teachers is at its lowest since 2010. As I demonstrated in my first answer, we are undertaking firm action on the issue, and we will continue to support our valued teachers. As I said, we know that teachers’ skills and expertise are required to support our young people during this difficult time.