Teachers: Vacancies

Department for Education written question – answered on 10th March 2020.

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Photo of Gareth Thomas Gareth Thomas Labour/Co-operative, Harrow West

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent estimate he has made of the number of teacher vacancies in the subject areas of (a) foreign languages, (b) computing, (c) science and (d) economics; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Nick Gibb Nick Gibb Minister of State (Education)

Information on the number of unfilled or temporarily filled teacher vacancies in state-funded secondary schools by subject area is shown in Table 15 of the publication, ‘School workforce in England: November 2018’, which is available here:


Information on vacancies by subject area is not available for other school phases.

The teacher vacancy rate continues to be low at 0.3%. However, there are no great schools without great teachers, and the Government wants to ensure that teaching remains an attractive and rewarding profession. In 2019, we launched the Department’s Teacher Recruitment and Retention Strategy to ensure that we have enough teachers to deliver excellent teaching for every child, particularly as the economy improves, pupil numbers grow and the demand for talented graduates increases.

The Recruitment and Retention Strategy sets out our priorities to attract and retain the most talented and able teachers in the profession. This includes transforming support for early career teachers through the Early Career Framework, backed by up to £130 million in funding once fully rolled out. Early career teachers will experience improved support across their first two years of teaching once the Early Career Framework is rolled out nationally from September 2021.

The strategy sets out how the Department is developing clearer career pathways for teachers, is taking steps to support flexible working, and is helping school leaders establish more supportive school cultures with a new Ofsted framework designed to reduce teacher workload. We will also make it easier for great people to join the profession, through introducing a new one-stop application system.

In 2019, the Department launched the Teaching Vacancies service to make it easier for schools to promote vacancies. The Teaching Vacancies website is now available for all publicly funded schools in England to use. Over two-thirds of publicly funded schools in England have signed up to use this free, online service.

Last autumn, the Government set out plans to raise teachers’ starting salaries to £30,000 by September 2022, ensuring that the teacher pay offer is positioned at the top of the graduate labour market.

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