Another warning sign

John Howson

Yesterday, the DfE published the 2013 School Workforce Census conducted last November. It is a tribute to the power of new technology and the hard work of government statisticians that a census of approaching 25,000 workplaces, and covering close to a million employees, can now be published within six months of the date it was conducted. Along with the headlines about a rise in the number of unqualified teachers – probably in fact increases in Teach First and School Direct trainees rather than entrants plucked straight from the street to the classroom – there was a worrying sign in the trend in reported vacancies.

A census taken in November is always going to report low levels of vacancies. After all, schools have had nearly three months to find a teacher after the start of the school year, and only the most determined and disillusioned teacher will have quit mid-term…

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