Percentage of admission appeals fell last year

On Friday, the DfE published its annual update on admissions appeals for places in primary and secondary schools. The latest set of data covers admissions for September 2021. Admission appeals in England: academic year 2021 to 2022 – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

The data are a useful indicator of the sufficiency of places, especially at popular schools that are always over-subscribed. Two sets of data matter: admissions to infant classes -the major of schools for this group are primary schools – and admission to secondary school.

The most important driver of appeals is the trend in birth for the year-group. Is it in a period of above average births or is the opposite true. The system provides a place for every child wanting one, but at peak times does not always expand popular schools, despite government pledges about parental choice that occur from time to time. When the birth rate is low, relatively more parents can gain admission to popular schools for their offspring without having to move house or devise other strategies to challenge the system.

At present, the country is in a period where numbers entering infant classes are falling, but there is still excess demand in the secondary sector for popular schools. This is shown in the following tables

Time periodschool_phaseappeals_ lodged   percentageAppeals_heard_ percentagesuccessful_appeals_ percentage
2016Primary (infant classes)3.32.311.8
2017Primary (infant classes)3211.7
2018Primary (infant classes)2.61.79.9
2019Primary (infant classes)21.412.6
2020Primary (infant classes)1.91.310.9
2021Primary (infant classes)1.81.210.5
2022Primary (infant classes)1.619.5
Source: DfE

2022 marked the sixth year in succession when appeals lodge and heard as a percentage of those seeking admission to infant classes fell. Only, 1.6% of admissions resulted in an appeal for 2021/22 school-year, compared with 3.3% for 2014/15. Appeals heard were even lower, at only 1.0%. The difference resulted from either a place being found at the school or parents accepting another school or choosing to use the private sector instead. Places become available as some parents request a place at a state school but then decide to use the private sector.

Interestingly, as appeals fall as a percentage of admissions, parents don’t find they are more successful by going to appeal. In fact, the opposite is the case. In these data only 9.5% of appeals were successful; the lowest since before the 2015/16 school-year. This probably reflects the fact that many of these appeals are for the most popular schools, and there is a limit of 30 on infant class sizes. Parents failing at appeal can always place their child on a ’continuing interest’ list for consideration should a place become available for any reason. This allows for the exercise of parental choice.

In the secondary sector, the pressure of recent years when the bulge year-groups transferred from primary to secondary school appears to be easing.

time_periodSchool _phase       appeals_lodged _percentageappeals_heard _percentagesuccessful_appeals _percentage
2016Secondary4.53.626.3
2017Secondary4.83.724.6
2018Secondary5.34.123.4
2019Secondary5.54.623.3
2020Secondary64.922.2
2021Secondary5.14.120.1
2022Secondary53.921.1
Source: DfE

Appeals lodged fell for the second year in a row, as did appeals heard, where the percentage was the lowest since the 2016/17 school-year. Successful appeals also ticked upwards from the low point in 2020/21 of 20.1%, to 21.1% for 2021/22. Interestingly, presumably because secondary schools are generally larger institutions than primary schools with more ‘wriggle room’, successful appeals in the secondary sector tend to be a much higher percentage of appeals heard than in the primary sector.

One remaining area for appeals, even when the birth-rate is at a low point in the demographic cycle, relates to the building of new housing estates, and the provision of schools, especially secondary schooling where a new school will eventually be built, but early owners may have to rely upon existing schools and their admissions policies.

In these cases, parental choice and the notion of catchment areas may collide. In rural areas these days, there is also the issue of the provision of free transport. Local Authorities normally now only provide transport to the ‘nearest school’, thus preventing many parents from exercising any parental choice. With council budgets under severe pressure, and the growth of academies setting their own rules on admissions, the reason for this is clear, but upsetting for some parents.

When Transport for London offered free travel across their region for young people, politicians at Westminster couldn’t see what the problem was, even if their postbags were full of complaints from constituents.

A falling birth-rate does have one other advantage for government. Either cash can be saved as fewer new schools are needed or time-expired school buildings can be replaced with up-to-date new facilities. In the past, some local authorities used to be very good at exploiting this trend and renewing many of their schools when cash for replacement schools was on offer. But, that’s for another blog.

End of pupil boom in sight

The recent pupil projections issued by the DfE  National pupil projections: July 2022 – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) show that the secondary school population is likely to peak at around school years 2024 or 2025 for England as whole. For some part of the country, notably the South East the date might be later, depending upon internal migration.

The DfE suggest that primary pupil number, including nursery pupils, will fall between 2022 and 2023, and by 2030 there will be 680,000 fewer pupils in the sector than in 2022; a reduction of approaching 15%. Even in the secondary sector, there is projected to be a small decline overall during the period 2022 to 2030.

Looking at these numbers, it is possible to see why there needs to be some consideration of the number of ITT places in the remainder of the decade. The secondary pupil numbers will decline through much of the second half of the 2020s and even though the primary sector fall is reducing by 2030, and the teaching workforce will likely be older than at present, demand for teachers under normal circumstance should be less than at present. Of course, what is normal and how any change in ITT provision should be managed are policy questions open to debate and alternative views.

But, with, it would seem in the present economic circumstances and the demands of the NHS, government funding unlikely to support any overall improvement in pupil teacher ratios and reductions in class sizes, the outcome is a need for fewer teachers unless some other aspect of the model changes. Factor in a low tax, high wage economy and the demand for teachers looks even less likely to continue at present levels.

The two unknowns are, firstly, whether an economic slowdown drives more teachers to stay put and returner numbers to increase and secondly, whether demand for graduates and for teachers from schools around the world will reduce the teacher workforce in England faster than expected just from the decline in the pupil population.

The DfE notes that the projection model published in 2021 estimated a school population of 7,269,000 in 2032, so the updated model shows a decrease of 354,000 on the total at the end of its projection period. The difference is primarily due to notably lower birth projections in the mid-2020 ONS national population projections, used for the first time in this set of pupil projections, which are the main drivers of the pupil population.

Next year the data from the 2021 Census will be fed into the ONS models, and, as a result, there might be some more significant changes to the outcome totals from 2028 onwards when the data are next published in July 2023. However, it seems unlikely that the changes resulting from the 2021 census will result in the demand for teachers increasing later in the decade. I suspect that there will once again be some regional analysis of school population trends that is missing this year.

Fewer pupils creates problems

The DfE has released its annual update to pupil projections. This is of immediate interest both to ITT providers and those responsible for planning school finances going forward into the medium term. The publication and associated tables can be accessed at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/national-pupil-projections-july-2021

Actual (2020) and projected pupil numbers by school type, England
  2020202120222023202420252026
State-funded nursery & primary schools4,6474,6354,5974,5314,4544,3954,345
 year on year change -12-38-66-77-59-50
State-funded secondary schools3,0033,0723,1333,1933,2313,2283,216
 year on year change 69616038-3-12
State-funded special schools113117119120121120119
 year on year change 4211-1-1
Alternative provision settings15161717181818
 year on year change 110100
Total state-funded schools7,7787,8397,8657,8627,8247,7617,699
 year on year change 6126-3-38-63-62
Projections on pupil numbers

The DfE make the following important point about the numbers:

This year only a simple update to the 2020 model has been created with the addition of newly available 2019 national population estimates and births from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The reasons for this are:

  • There are no new ONS national projections giving new estimates of the future overall population
  • The 2021 school census data shows notable decreases in enrolment in nursery and primary schools and alternative provision compared to previous years. These are expected to be temporary, as a result of the pandemic, rather than long-term changes. However, using this data results in decreases across future years which are not considered to be realistic estimates of the pupil population over the next ten years.

The new 2019 ONS data provides additional information on factors such as whether birth figures have continued the drop seen since late 2016. Therefore feeding this data into the existing model provides a useful update on expected future pupil numbers. 

The various views on whether or not the fall is temporary must be of great importance. A loss of 300,000 primary school pupils in six years with the current funding formula for schools in place will have significant implications.

For those preparing primary schools teachers for entry into teaching the implications could come as soon as this autumn if entry targets for 2022 announced by the DfE using the Teacher Supply Model take account of the start of the reduction in pupil numbers.

For the secondary sector, there are probably a couple more years at present levels for teacher preparation courses before reductions in popular and fully subscribed subjects along with recruitment controls come into force once again.

Of course, with the DfE controlling the application process it will be interesting to see how the different parts of the DfE interact with each other, especially in view of the recent ITT Market Review.

The years of relative planet are going to be followed by some years of belt tightening across the education sector. The announcement on pay may not be unrelated to these figures on pupil numbers.

Primary sector: smaller in future

This is the time of year when the DfE updates its pupil projections. These are the numbers that identify the trends in the size of the school population. Changes in migration and in the birth rate are the two most important national drivers of the total school population.

Obviously, migration can have a more immediate effect on pupil numbers than changes in the number of live births. As a result, planning for changes in the birth rate is much easier than changes in migration. Let’s assume, for instance, that there is an influx of families from Hong Kong as a result of the changed political situation there. This might bring a sudden and unexpected influx of pupils. At the national level, such an influx might not be noticeable, but since migrants tend to cluster in communities, some areas might see a sudden increase in pupil numbers.

The government tries to plan for such eventualities by creating high and low variants of the different variables making up the pupil numbers.

Here are the headlines from the DfE analysis

Headline facts and figures from the 2020 national pupil projections 

  • The nursery and primary school population has been rising since 2009 but has now plateaued, as the drop in births in 2013 feeds into the main school population, and is projected to drop for the whole projection period to 2030. The drop is steeper than previously projected due to lower births recorded since the end of 2016.
  • The secondary school population began rising in 2016 and is projected to continue increasing until 2024 before gradually dropping until the end of the projection period. The peak and then fall is primarily due to the lower births seen in 2013 and beyond, which start to reach secondary school age in around 2025.
  • The population in special schools has been increasing for a number of years, at least partly driven by the increase in the overall population, and this is projected to continue until 2024, before also very gradually dropping.

https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/national-pupil-projections

How steep will the drop in the primary school population be?

The low migration and low fertility variant produces a primary school population of 4,383,000, some 88,000 pupil less than the Principal projection. That could mean the need for between 4-5,000 fewer teachers across the primary sector unless funding was not tightly tied to pupil numbers.

Population of primary and secondary age in 2026

under the variant projections, England
 population in 2026difference to principal
Projectionnursery & primary agesecondary agenursery & primary agesecondary age
principal4,4713,218  
low fertility4,4043,218-670
high fertility4,5193,218480
low migration4,4503,210-21-8
high migration4,4923,226218
low population4,3833,210-88-8
high population4,5413,226708
Source: national population projections (2020 model). Figures in 000s    

https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/national-pupil-projections

However, at the other extreme, the primary population might be some 70,000 greater than the Principal projection. This would require more teachers, assuming funding is closely tied to pupil numbers.

In the secondary sector, there is less difference between the projections, as the pupils in the secondary sector by 2026 are already in the school system. Any significant change would be the result of changes in migration patterns.

Would I consider applying to university in the autumn to start an undergraduate degree in primary education in 2021? Well, there will still be a need for teachers, but if the birth rate continues to fall, perhaps as a result of concerns arising from the covid-19 pandemic and decisions on family size, then it might not seem as attractive a career is it did a few years ago.

Since most secondary sector teachers are prepared through postgraduate routes lasting around a year, there is less urgency to consider pupil numbers are a reason for evaluating teaching as a possible career.

Of course, if there is a drop in private school enrolments, there may be more pupils in the State sector, but also more teachers competing for jobs.

All this is at the national level for England. There are also regional differences to consider.

More pay for teachers?

Is there light at the end of the tunnel for teachers’ pay? The latest update on projected pupil numbers through to 2027, issued by the DfE earlier today, suggest that the Treasury might now be able to see the point where teacher numbers will stabilise and, thus, the pay bill can be estimated with a greater degree of accuracy than when pupil numbers are on a rising curve.  The data is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/national-pupil-projections-july-2018

Civil servants will probably have had access to this data for some time, and it is possible to at least theorise that recent indications of more cash for schools, and specifically for teachers’ pay, might be as a result of an awareness of these numbers. I haven’t heard anything about the pay of other workers in schools, many of whom are far less highly paid than teachers, and don’t have the advantage of a Pay Review Body to provide oversight and guidance. Hopefully, they won’t be forgotten.

So, what are the latest numbers suggesting? In the primary sector the annual rate of increase is expected to fall gradually to NIL for 2020 and 2021, before decreases are projected (between 0.3% and 0.7% each year) until the end of the projection period. This is principally due to the lower birth projections in Office of National Statistics new population projections. The overall population in state-funded primary schools was 4,607,000 in 2018, and is projected to be 112,000 lower in 2027 at 4,494,000. Depending upon how class sizes are affected and the future for smaller schools under the present funding arrangements, this decline might mean 5,000 to 6,000 fewer teaching posts if cash goes into increase pay for existing teachers rather than reducing class sizes. As the teaching force gains more experience it also costs more to employ, so the level of retention is also important in determining the number of teachers that can be employed, especially once the decline in pupil numbers reaches Key Stage 2 where class sizes are not controlled by law.

In the secondary sector up to the end of Key Stage 4, the rate of increase in pupil numbers is expected to reach around 3.1% for the next two years before slowly dropping to NIL by the end of the projection period in 2027. As a result of these increases, the overall population in secondary schools is projected to reach 3,267,000 in 2027, some 418,000 higher than it was in 2018 and a 14.7% increase over the whole projection period. The increases will continue to feed through to the Key Stage 5 school population until at least the end of the 2020s. These numbers suggest that over the time period under discussion there might be a need for between 20,000 to 25,000 extra teachers, and possibly even more depending on the shape of the curriculum and any changes in teaching methods.

As the DfE points out, ‘There are inherent uncertainties in projecting the future size of the pupil population. This is particularly true for early age cohorts, which are the most immediately dependent on projections of future birth rates.’ Higher fertility rates and lower than expected migration could mean a difference of around 100,000 either way on the central projection. As the time period shorten, then the level of certainty can become greater and projections on teacher numbers also become firmer.

However, teaching might once more start looking like an attractive career, if you take the long-term view.

 

Small schools: what’s their future?

Last Thursday, the DfE issued a raft of statistical information. The data about teachers has been covered by this blog in a number of different posts. As a result, the data from the January School Census that covers schools and their pupils has had to wait its turn. Happily, there is now time to reflect upon the data.  https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/schools-pupils-and-their-characteristics-january-2019

In terms of public expenditure implications, the important news is that there are more pupils to be funded, as the rise in the birth rate of a few years ago starts to work its way through the system. Overall, there were 84,700 more pupils in education in England in January 2019 than in the previous January. This is despite any trend towards home schooling or off-rolling.

The bulk of the increase, 69,500, came in the secondary sector.  Assuming more of the increase to be in Year 7, then this probably required some 3,500 more teachers. Not all will have been recruited, as some schools will have falling rolls at sixteen and in a few cases still, at fourteen due to movement of pupils to UTCs and Studio Schools.

The number of primary pupils increased by 10,800; an insignificant increase on a pupil population of 4,730,000 pupils. This levelling off in the primary school population, and its possible reduction in a few years’ time, has implications for the system that will be discussed later.

It’s worth noting the increase in the number of pupils in special schools, of some 6,500. How far this is an awareness of extra need and how far schools looking to place pupils that cost more to educate than a school normally receives cannot be identified from the data. However, by January 2019, almost all pupils should have converted from a Statement of SEN to an EHCP.

It is worth noting the fall of 900 pupils in independent schools. It isn’t easy to identify where that trend is coming from, but some of it might be as a result of local authorities reassessing the cost of placing SEN pupils in such schools, and instead now using cheaper state funded provision and thus contributing to the increase in numbers in special schools.

The most concern in policy terms arising from this data are the future shape of the primary school system. While there are 13 primary schools with over 1,000 pupils, there are almost 2,000 primary schools with 100 or fewer pupils. Together these latter schools account for approaching one in eight primary schools. Some will be infant schools, where a merger with a junior school could create a primary school, as has already happened in many instances. However, where these small schools are already primary schools, how will their future be assessed? Does the present funding arrangements permit local authorities and academy chains to retain such schools, both for the good of their communities and to prevent very young children having to take bus journeys to and from school each day? Some counties with small communities that are widely distributed will certainly face this problem, even if they aren’t already doing so. So far, I haven’t heard anything from the Leadership contenders about this matter.

Pressure on school places intensifies

The DfE has published the data on offers made regarding admission to primary and secondary schools for September 2019. https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/secondary-and-primary-school-application-and-offers-2019

In view of the growing number of pupils in the transfer age group from primary to secondary school, now almost universally at age eleven, the percentage of pupils receiving their first choice of schools fell again this year to just 80.9%.

Secondary Schools
Entry into academic year % made 1st preference offer
2010/11 83.2
2011/12 84.6
2012/13 85.3
2013/14 86.7
2014/15 85.2
2015/16 84.2
2016/17 84.1
2017/18 83.5
2018/19 82.1
2019/20 80.9

The percentage successful at gaining a place at their first choice schools has now declined every years since 2013/14 when it reach a high of 86.7%. Of course, there are significant regional differences, as well as differences between urban and rural areas.

As the DfE points out in the report: Northumberland (98.4%) and North Somerset (96.9%) achieved the best first preference rates in 2019. Northumberland has been the top performer in this measure for the last four years.

As in previous years, the lowest first preference rates at secondary level are all in London, Lambeth (54.8%), Lewisham (56.9%) and Hammersmith & Fulham (57.3%) achieved the lowest rates in 2019.

Central Bedfordshire is now the only local authority to submit secondary data for year 9 as their largest secondary intake. They had the third best percentage of transfer to secondary school to their middle schools that are classified as secondary schools.

Interestingly, there is no comment by the DfE on the transfer of pupils at age 14 to the UTCs and Studio schools. Presumably, anyone that wants to go to these schools can secure a place.

There was a small fall in first preference rates in the primary sector this year, down from 91.0% last year to 90.6% this year, but this is still well above the 87.7% of 2014/15.

This year there were 608,200 applications for a primary school place, virtually the same as last year, but the 604,500 applications for a secondary place represented an increase of 3.6% over last year, and just over 100,000 more than the lowest year of 2013/14.

There are implications in teacher supply for this increase in the secondary school population. The increase has been factored into the Teacher Supply Model by DfE civil servants.

What hasn’t been factored into the real world situation is the shortfall against the Teacher Supply Numbers in many subjects as far as trainee teacher numbers are concerned.

As this blog has pointed out in other posts, even assuming the DfE projections on retention and returner numbers are correct, not recruiting enough trainees can have real implications for schools.

As piece of research in California has demonstrated that it is the schools serving the more deprived neighbourhoods that suffer most when it comes to recruiting teachers when there is an overall shortfall. I fear the same is likely to be true in some parts of London, especially with the bonus on offer to some teachers to go and work in Opportunity Areas.

 

 

 

As predicted: more pupils than last year

Over 2.3 million pupils are in being taught in academies or one type of another (72.3% of all secondary school pupils) along with over 1.4 million in primary schools (29.7% of all primary school pupils). These numbers were released yesterday by the DfE as part of their annual assessment of schools ad their pupils. This information has appeared somewhat earlier than expect; it was scheduled to appear in June. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/719226/Schools_Pupils_and_their_Characteristics_2018_Main_Text.pdf

The trend towards declining pupil numbers  at the lower end of the primary age range, and growing numbers at Year 7 in the secondary sector, is now clear to see from these figures and will come as no surprise to those that follow the data about schools and their pupils.

Overall, however, the number of pupils in state funded primary schools rose – as it has since 2009 – although at a slower rate than in recent years. There are 26,600 more pupils than in 2017, and 101,100 more since the 2016 census. The number of pupils in state funded secondary schools rose for the fourth year in a row by around 35,000, and in 2018 had a greater increase in population than primary schools.

There was some consolidation in the primary sector resulting in a net decrease of 20 state-funded primary schools, whereas in the secondary sector there was a net increase of 28 state-funded schools.

All-age schools once looked on askance, not least by the 1944 Education Act that outlawed them by requiring a break at eleven, are still on the increase, albeit perhaps at a slower rate than previously. In January 2017 there were 150 such schools, but this figure has increased to 163 state-funded schools in January 2018. Some of these are ‘free schools’, the most misnamed designation ever invented for a type of school.

As the economy has continued to create more jobs, especially for women, the continued fall in the number of registered pupils for free school meals is not a complete surprise. However, there is still anxiety that the universal free school meals policy for infants is affecting registration for free school meals, causing some schools to lose funding through the Pupil Premium. The issue of funding for deprivation and how it is used by schools is now overdue for a review as all schools will shortly feel the full effect of FSM+6 on their budgets. Perhaps the Social Mobility Commission might like to consider this issue.

A third of all pupils in the primary sector now come from what is classified as an ethnic background, although that includes nearly eight per cent from White non-British backgrounds. Just over one in ten pupils are from Asian background, and one in twenty from ‘Black’ backgrounds.  Slightly more than one in twenty are described as, of ‘mixed’ backgrounds, and this category is likely to increase over the coming years.

Fewer than one in twenty infants were in over-size classes of more than 30, with the majority being in classes of 31. As intakes have reduced in size, so has the issue of over-size classes for infants. Over the next few years, large classes are more likely to be a growing problem for secondary schools unless funding, especially for 16-18 improves.

 

Staying put

By a strange quirk of fate I had a meeting in Portcullis House at 6pm on Tuesday. While the Palace of Westminster itself may have been buzzing with excitement, across the road the parliamentary estate was emptier than I have ever seen it on a day when parliament was sitting. Apart from the security team and catering staff looking for customers, the building was largely deserted.

Still, the meeting will allow me to say if asked where were you when the historic vote took place that I was at Westminster. It will join those other two historic ’where were you’ moments’ in my life – JFK’s assassination – at a church sale of work – and the demolition of the Berlin Wall – on the Friday morning telling a group of Year 1 BEd students that they should always remember where they were when they heard the news that the Wall had fallen.

However, the object of this post is really to consider the report today that surveyors and estate agents are gloomier about the housing market over the next three months than at any time for 20 years, albeit due to uncertainty over Brexit.

If the housing market does lock up over the next three months, then there will be implications for schools, given that so much of their income is tied to pupil numbers these days. Some schools may benefit as they will keep pupils that might otherwise have left for pastures new, but if turnover in the housing market really slows down, then there will be losers as households with grown up children stay put and are not replaced by new young families looking for school places.

Some developers may find sales on new estates slow down, and the new school being built will be faced with the choice of either opening with fewer pupils this September or deferring opening for another year and thus helping increase pupil numbers at other local schools. As all such schools are either academies or free schools of one variety of another, it only impacts on local authorities in terms of their ability to manage the overall provision of schooling in their area, something government hasn’t been overly concerned with in recent years.

Of course, we might see some extra spending on marketing and publicity as schools seek to fill empty places using cash better spent on teaching and learning. Ever since the doctrine of parental choice came into being after 1979, the idea of glossier brochures, open days and league tables has come to dominate the annual round of school selection.

Should the DfE follow up on its new free vacancy site by designing a free marketing portal for schools to reduce the cost to schools of recruiting pupils? The DfE could then ban excessive spending by individual schools. However, it would also have to stop practices such as providing free buses for pupils from some locations, something parents would not welcome.

Then there is the other side of ‘staying put’. What might teachers decide to do in the present circumstances. Will they stay as well or will they go, perhaps overseas in even greater numbers?

 

More secondary age pupils, but fewer pre-school entrants

This is the time of year when the DfE publishes its annual look at pupil projections for the next few years. This year’s output can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/national-pupil-projections-july-2018 There isn’t a lot in the document to surprise those that follow the data about pupil numbers. Secondary school pupil numbers are on the increase, but the downturn in births in 2013 is starting to affect the primary sector and will continue to do so over the next few years.

These numbers are a key component of the Teacher Supply Model that helps determine the number of new teachers needed. Clearly, becoming a secondary school teachers might be seen as a wise career choice, since rising numbers means more teachers to be employed – even if class sizes rise further – and more promoted posts to oversee the larger schools and the new schools that will be built. A yet to be built free secondary school in Oxford has just appointed someone in their early 30s as head designate. However, entering undergraduate training to be a primary school teacher may need slightly more thought. Yes, there will be jobs in 2021, when the class of 2018 emerge with their degrees, but there will be fewer pupils to be taught regardless of what happens to Brexit.

In Oxford, it was revealed this week, we have maintained primary schools with more than 20% of pupils with non-GBR EU citizenship. Of course, some will be Irish citizens and presumably unaffected by Brexit in terms of living and their parents working in Oxford. Some 90 out of the 2,100 teachers employed by the county are from outside the UK, but that includes Commonwealth and USA citizens as well as EU citizens.

Leaving Brexit aside, the future pupil population tables only predict any shift from the private sector to the state sector or, indeed, visa versa on past and current numbers in independent schools. The tables may also have to take into account the effects of home schooling in the future, if that really were to take off in a big way, especially for certain age-groups.

Indeed, this might be why training to be a primary teachers might also offer an alternative job opportunity as a tutor to one of the family’s that look to employ such a staff member. The day of the governess is now dead, but they have been replaced by the term tutor that like the term teacher seems to have become accepted as the term for employees of any gender.  Like the term teacher, it is also a term anyone can use to describe themselves and their occupation.

Disappointingly, there is no sub-national breakdown of future pupil projections in the data published by the DfE to allow for consideration of where might be an interesting place to base a career in teaching and where promotion might be slower in the future, especially in the primary sector.

Of course, the main concern is not calculating the number of teachers needed as a result of these projections, but filling the training places each year. As I have pointed out many times, the government seem unlikely to meet that requirement again this year. Hopefully, it will persuade those that do train to work in state-funded schools.