It has just been confirmed that there has been a failure to attract a fifth of trainee teachers that the government says are needed for secondary schools in England. Recent figures from the Department of Education show only 80% of trainees were recruited on to schemes in 2017 and targets were hit in only 2 of 15 subjects.

It is estimated that around 30,000 new teachers are needed each year to ensure schools have enough to staff their classrooms – the shortfall of 6,000 last year comes on top of repeated under-recruitment and makes staffing schools hugely challenging.

Nick Gibb, School Standards Minister, repeated the usual statement that there are “record numbers of teachers in schools”. This may well be true but the overall numbers of children are going up and the “record numbers” do not cover subjects like Maths and Physics.

Matt Allman, Headteacher, said: “We are fully staffed at the moment but it is true to say we dance along a precipice when it comes to staffing levels. It is perfectly possible for any local school to put out an advert and have no applicants. Having worked around the country, it does appear that our school can recruit better than many, but we cannot afford any complacency. Both as a Headteacher and as a parent I know the importance of valuing and respecting what we have because having no teacher is massively detrimental to every child it affects.”

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