New report highlights teacher retention challenges

The Education Policy Institute has published a new report examining teacher shortages across England. 

The report found that pupil numbers in secondary schools had stayed constant since 2007 but were set to “bulge” between 2019 and 2023. However, since 2007, teacher numbers had fallen by 7%, with exit rates far higher in shortage subjects such as maths, sciences and languages, and in the early years of teachers’ careers. The result is a significant recruitment and retention challenge.

Challenges are even greater for schools in disadvantaged areas. Schools in these areas find it harder to fill vacancies, lose more staff days per year to sickness, and have less experienced staff.

The report concluded that the government’s planned higher salaries for new teachers would be a positive change, but this needed to be accompanied by better funding for disadvantaged schools so they can afford starting salaries and compete on pay.