Schools are suffering from a teacher shortage driven by rising pupil numbers fuelled by immigration, figures suggest. A report by the Government’s spending watchdog found that while the number of teachers in the system has increased over the past ten years, pupil numbers teaching baby swimming 6 years also growing.
The National Audit Office said that recruitment of teachers would have to increase over the next few years to keep up. Local councils have repeatedly complained that they are struggling to accommodate a bulge in primary school numbers caused by a baby boom following high immigration. The swelling of primary school numbers is set to transfer onto secondaries and council leaders have warned of an urgent need to expand schools. The NAO report said while secondary school teacher numbers had remained stable since 2005, the number of primary teachers has increased by 19,000, ‘reflecting changing pupil numbers’. It warned that a similar increase was needed in secondary schools soon, but that teacher recruitment is now more difficult because of the improving economy. The report said: ‘Between 2011 and 2014, the number of pupils increased by 7 per cent in primary schools and fell by 3 per cent in secondary schools.
It added: ‘Primary schools have had to recruit more teachers to keep up with rising pupil numbers. Secondary schools may now have to do likewise as pupil numbers start to increase. The watchdog also said that more teachers were now leaving before retirement age, suggesting ‘retention’ was likely to become an issue. It said: ‘Overall, the number of teachers has kept pace with changing pupil numbers. 6 pupils to every teacher in primary schools in 2008 compared with 21. In secondary schools the pupil teacher ratio was 16.
2 to 1 in 2008 compared with 15. There are, however, growing signs of shortages. Most commonly discussed are shortages in maths and certain science subjects. Last year, the head of Ofsted Sir Michael Wilshaw warned that schools were struggling to cope with an influx of migrant pupils and needed more ‘capacity’. In 2013, a leaked paper prepared by the Department for Education revealed that a steady increase in the number of babies being born has helped fuel the schools places crisis. The report said there were 120,000 more born in 2011 than in 2002, in addition to a ‘threefold increase in net long-term migration since the mid-1990s’. The document cited evidence collected by the Home Office that the ‘impact of immigration has been substantial’, adding that it was seen ‘as an important contributory factor, through both the arrival of migrant children and the high birth rates of some migrant groups’.
It said an additional 35,000 secondary places will be needed by 2015, adding: ‘This shortage of places is the direct result of the increase in the birth rates since 2002 and the surge in net migration since the mid-1990s. Official figures released last year showed the proportion of primary school pupils who do not have English as a first language increased from 18. In secondary schools, the proportion rose from 13. More than a fifth of British 15-year-olds are so poor at maths it could hinder their ability to take part in society, according to an international report. 17 per cent had fallen behind with reading and 15 per cent in science. One in ten of this age group struggled across all three subjects, the study by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development found.
They were classed as low performers if they scored below Level 2 on tests by the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment. This is considered the baseline proficiency required to participate fully in modern society. The comments below have not been moderated. We are no longer accepting comments on this article.
Could tackling your garden this summer make you happier? Lloyd’s of London over the musician’s cancelled tour. Cardi B gyrates and twerks her way through raunchy Coachella show as pregnant rapper tells fans ‘I’m running outta breath! Gwyneth Paltrow and Brad Falchuk ‘secretly wed’?