Over 40,000 teachers left the profession in 2021/22

According to the latest School Workforce Census, 44,000 teachers left the state-funded sector in 2021/22, up by 7,800 from the previous year. This represents 1 in 10 (9.7%) of all qualified teachers; the highest rate since 2017/18. This follows two years of lower than average leaver rates during the years most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic

The majority (91%) left due to leaving the state-funded sector in England, for example due to a change of career or joining other UK education sectors. The rate of teachers leaving due to retirement continues to decrease.

In terms of teacher vacancies (full and part time), the data shows they have doubled in the past two years; from 1,100 in November 2020 to 2,300 in November 2022. The rate - which takes into account the fact that the workforce has also increased in this period - has also increased, from 2 per 1,000 teachers in service to 5 per 1,000. Meaning that the number of vacancies was only partially offset by the increasing number of teachers in the school workforce.

The number of temporary filled classroom teacher posts also increased; from 1,800 in November 2020 to 3,000 in November 2022. This is a rate of 8 posts per 1,000 teachers. In the same period, temporary filled leadership posts decreased from 340 to 280, a rate of 4 per 1,000 leadership teachers. This is lower than the peak in November 2016.

Positively, 48,000 teachers joined the state-funded school sector for 2022/23, up by 4,000 since last year. This represents 1 in 10 (10.5%) of all qualified teachers; the highest rate and number since 2018/19.

Newly qualified teachers make up a smaller proportion of entrants this year (45% versus 50% last year) as they have decreased in number, whereas all other entrant types have increased. This is believed to be a result of career plan changes during the COVID-19 pandemic period in recent prior years.

Entrants have increased in both primary and secondary school phases, however the trends in entrant types differ. In primary schools there has been an increase in the number of newly qualified entrants, following decreases since 2015/16. In secondary schools, however, newly qualified entrants have decreased, following a peak last year. This decrease corresponds with Initial Teacher Training (ITT) recruitment decreases in secondary subjects.

Education Secretary, Gillian Keegan, said: "In today’s competitive job market, it is fantastic to see so many people choosing a rewarding teaching career, with a record number of teachers now working in our schools.

"We know there is more to do, which is why we have generous bursaries to attract new trainees to teach priority subjects and focusing on supporting new teachers from the very start of their journey with free, high-quality, ongoing professional development."

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