Blink and they are gone

Be quick if you want a business studies teacher for September 2018. As this blog pointed out when the ITT census for 2017 was published, there weren’t a vast number of trainees in this subject. Now in the first nine working days of 2018, TeachVac has already listed enough vacancies to attract 20% of the ITT census total of trainees. Interestingly, the vast majority of the 2018 vacancies recorded have been posted by schools in and around London. Only seven jobs have been posted so far in 2018 for business studies teachers by schools in the remainder of England.

Unless the current rate of vacancies starts slowing down, then TeachVac will be issuing an amber warning of shortages in this subject by early February and the trainee pool will become exhausted well before the end of the current recruitment round for September. Since recruitment doesn’t meet the DfE’s target number it is perhaps not fair to complain that the Teacher Supply model seems to underestimate demand for teachers of business studies every year, just as it over-estimates the need for teachers of physical education.

London schools have certainly been quick of the mark in posting vacancies for September. Whether this is their relatively better financial situation; the result of anticipated growing school rolls; greater loss of teaching staff to other posts or a combination of all these factors isn’t obvious from the raw data. If schools were willing to post a reason for the vacancy, they would provide useful data to all sides in the teacher supply debate.

TeachVac will shortly be publishing two reports on the labour market for teachers in 2017. One will deal with the turnover of leaders in the primary sector and the other will consider the main scale vacancies in different secondary subjects.

The senior staff turnover report will restart the time series about senior staff appointments that went through 27 annual reports written by myself between the early 1980s and 2012. There are some illuminating facts in both reports. The secondary sector reports illuminates why some schools may find both the 2018 and 2019 recruitment rounds challenging, not only for business studies teachers but also for teachers in several other subjects. Schools would be well advised to arrange ‘keep in touch’ schemes for teachers taking career break whether for maternity leave or other reasons. Schools should also look at possible arrangements for teachers that want to work part-time.

TeachVac has now started a site for international schools and will be using this to also encourage teachers to return to teach in England by linking the site with vacancies in England across both state-funded and private schools.

The DfE are holding a meeting next week to update recruiters on progress with their embryonic vacancy service. With TeachVac already providing a free national service, it is difficult to see why the DfE wants to spend public money on something that already exists, especially given that apparently it cost the DfE £700,000 to revamp  the static Edubase site last year.


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