DfE school workforce statistics

A woeful testament to 14 years of Government mismanagement and neglect.


Commenting on the latest figures school workforce stats from the DfE, Daniel Kebede, General Secretary of the National Education Union, said:  

“These figures make for alarming reading. The number of teachers choosing to quit the profession – up. Retention rates – worse again for almost all year groups. Another sharp increase in teacher vacancies. A sharp fall in newly qualified entrants.  Lessons taught by non-specialist teachers – up. A million-plus pupils taught in classes of more than 30 for the second successive year.

‘These figures are a woeful testament to its 14 years of Government mismanagement and neglect.

‘Here is all the shocking detail. Last year a new record was set for the number of teachers leaving the profession for reasons other than retirement or death and the number is up again this year.  Teacher retention rates have worsened for almost all yearly cohorts – more than one in four teachers leave within 3 years of qualifying. There are increasing teacher shortages across the school system, with an increase in lessons taught by non-specialist subject teachers across almost the whole of the secondary curriculum. We now have a shortfall of 5,133 mathematics teachers, up from 4,316 last year. Teacher vacancies have increased sharply and are now a six-fold increase on 2010. The number of newly qualified entrants to the profession has dropped by a fifth. The number of pupils taught in classes with more than 30 pupils has increased again and now stands at 1,051,210 – up from 1,018,390 in 2022-23, the highest figure since 2001.

‘Pay cuts and sky-high workload have driven this recruitment and retention crisis.  The NEU in our manifesto for education is calling on all political parties to commit to a reversal of the cuts to education funding and improving pay and workload to tackle soaring vacancies and retention problems. As can be seen from these latest figures this is no longer a choice but an absolute necessity for any incoming Government. Schools, colleges, children and young people have had 14 years of being short changed. The next Government must and can do better.

The rise in child poverty is chilling.

Today a quarter of pupils take free school meals, that is 2.1 million children. In 2015, it was one in seven.

‘Schools do all they can to alleviate the problems children and young people face through poverty but this should not be happening in the first place. These inequalities do not start and end at the school gates. An incoming government must address child poverty by immediately scrapping the two-child limit and ensuring every child has a free school meal. All political parties need to make a commitment to ensuring every school is properly funded and every child has a nutritious school meal which is free”.

Back to top