How will schools looking for teachers in 2016 fare? Teacher supply was a common theme of discussions in the autumn term of 2016, so I thought I would share some preliminary analysis regarding the start of the 2016 recruitment round. Schools signed up to TeachVac, our free recruitment site that costs schools nothing to post vacancies, receive more detailed information thorough our monthly newsletter. To find out more visit http://www.teachvac.co.uk
In addition, secondary schools receive the unique update on the size of the remaining ‘free pool’ of trainees every time they upload details of a main scale vacancy. At present, this is the national picture since the NCTL seem reluctant to reveal regional data in any meaningful form, despite in 2014 telling me that they had hoped to do so in 2015. The data on regional provision in the priority subjects that they have produced is challenging to map against the actual census numbers in some subjects. As the key census table also has gaps that appear to be filled in another table, I have a word of caution about the data in the public domain. No doubt some enterprising MP will ask questions or the Select Committee will elicit the actual data from the DfE as part of their inquiry. If so, we will update the information in TeachVac.
Anyway, using the data that is available we can assume that Teach First trainees will be in classrooms and unavailable to fill vacancies, other than as qualified teachers at the end of their programme, and that School Direct Salaried trainees are also likely to be hired either by the school where they are training or another local school without an advert appearing. As a result, these trainees can be discarded from the pool of trainees available to schools unable to access these programmes. In addition, it is worth reducing the remaining number by five per cent to allow for those that don’t complete their training programme on the higher education, SCITT and School direct fee routes.
Taking all these variables into account, the picture is broadly similar to this point in 2015. There are unlikely to be enough trainees in the ‘free pool’ to satisfy demand in business studies; design and technology – despite slightly better recruitment than last year; English – where we have concerns that the distortion produced by both Teach First and the School Direct Salaried numbers may make it difficult for schools in some parts of the country to recruit a teacher –this is a subject where the regional breakdown of recruitment into training would be especially helpful. Although the mix of science teachers may not be what schools need, the total of trainees may be sufficient across the country, even if not regionally. The same is true in mathematics.
In PE, art and probably languages, there should be sufficient trainees to meet demand. In other subjects, we need to see how schools will schools respond to curriculum changes and funding pressures before making a judgement. However, geography, music, IT and RE schools seeking teachers may struggle towards the end of the year, if 2016 follows the pattern of 2016.
Regionally, despite the presence of Teach First together with the School Direct Salaried places, we expect schools outside these programmes to struggle in London and the Home Counties when it comes to recruitment of main scale teachers. As these are the parts of the country with the greatest concentration of independent schools, the demand for teachers from these schools is an additional pressure in the marketplace.
Teachvac has a new service this year that allows us to provide advice on salary levels offered in the marketplace. This is not yet a free service, but the team are happy to discuss details with anyone interested. 2016 looks like being another interesting and challenging year for teacher recruitment.