Among the more detailed numbers published yesterday by the DfE in the plethora of statistics about the school workforce in November 2018 was a breakdowns of the data by individual school; by local authority and by region of the country, with London further subdivided into Inner and Outer London, thus making ten regions in all.
In many respects the teacher workforce in London, and especially Inner London, is very different to the workforce in the rest of England. London is often regarded, along with New York, and a few other places, as a mega-city that is substantially different to its surrounding areas. To allow for comparison purposes, I have included data on the teacher workforce for Oxfordshire and the average for England as a whole in a table shown below.
|Inner London||Inner London rank||Outer London||Outer London
|% Male teachers||28.2%||1||25.6%||6||25.9%||24.3%|
|% Ethnic minority teachers||44.4%||1||37.8%||2||14.0%||9.6%|
|% part-time teachers||15.2%||10||19.8||8||23.7%||33.3%|
|% teachers 50+||15.8%||10||18.2%||8||17.6%||20.7%|
|% of teachers with an allowance||43.6%||1||40.%||2||35.8%||31.7%|
|% teachers with one period of sickness||57.8%||1||56.4%||2||54.4%||52.3%|
|% schools reporting a vacancy||20.7%||2||23.1%||1||11.1%||10.7%|
Source: DfE School Workforce Census tables. Note there are ten region including two for London.
Inner London is at the extreme in all aspect considered in the table, only ceding first or last place to Outer London in respect of the percentage of schools reporting a vacancy. With separate distinct pay rates, it is not surprising to find London toping the average salary figures, but it is perhaps more surprising to find it the top region for male teachers, with more than a quarter of teachers being men, compared to only just over 24% in Oxfordshire.
The other outstanding percentage is for the percentage of non-White teachers employed. Approaching one in two teachers in Inner London, and more than a third in Outer London, are from ethnic minority non-white backgrounds. This compares to less than 10% of teachers with such backgrounds in Oxfordshire.
Despite paying higher salaries, London schools also manage to have the most favourable Pupil Teacher Ratios in England, some three pupils per teacher better in Inner London than in Oxfordshire. This is despite the many small schools in Oxfordshire, and does indicate the funding difference between London schools and those in much of the rest of England.
Additionally, it may well be that as a result of better funding teachers in London are more likely to receive an allowance than those elsewhere in England. However, this may also be part of a drive to ensure schools are fully staffed. If so, it is only working to some degree, as London schools, and especially those in Outer London, are more likely to report a vacancy than schools anywhere else in England.
Based upon these figures, it is imperative that Ministers and civil servants look beyond London when assessing information about the teacher workforce, and especially when reviewing claims about the funding of schools.