Schools Workforce Report 2016


The Government’s School Workforce Report 2016 has been published - here’s a roundup of the key highlights: 

Hundreds of thousands of people work in the education sector across England, filling everything from teaching and teaching assistant roles through to school support and administration positions.

The latest figures from the Government’s School Workforce in England: November 2016 report are out, highlighting the latest figures across the country. 

The report forms part of the seventh annual School Workforce Census and it’s important to note that independent schools, sixth form colleges and higher educational institutions are not included in the data. 

However, it provides a broad overview of school nursery, primary and secondary school teaching in England throughout 2016 and we’ve pulled out the key facts and figures from the report: 

At a glance: 

  • 48% of school’s workforce are teachers, 28% are teaching assistants and 25% school support staff

  • The number of qualified entrants to the profession has decreased by 10% compared to 2015

  • NQTs are 55% of qualified entrants, 32% career returners and 13% new to the education sector

  • The number of qualified teachers leaving the profession has decreased at 9.9%

  • Academy schools are rising and accounted for 28% of all schools and an 8% increase of teachers in academy schools

  • Teachers in free schools rose by 1,300

  • Teachers in maintained schools decreased by 5.7%

  • A total of 2.16 million days were lost due to sickness or absence, with 54% of teachers having at least one sick day/absence; highlighting the imperative role of supply staff to help continuity of learning in the classroom

The detail: 

Teaching numbers 

Since 2014, there have been more than half a million teachers employed annually in England, with 503,900 employed as of November 2016 – up by nearly 20,000 in five years. 

Of those teachers, 457,300 were deemed to be full-time equivalent (FTE) teachers, while a further 12,800 were occasional teachers filling contracts of one month or less. 

On top of this, there were 387,900 teaching assistants – up from 341,200 in 2010 – and a further 450,900 school support staff in employment as of last November. 

When third party support staff were also considered, it means the education sector in England is responsible for the employment of more than 1.4 million people. 

Notable changes 

Whilst any workforce changes with time, noticeable differences were seen amongst the various work classifications between 2015 and 2016: 

The number of FTE teachers rose by 4,000 overall in that period, although this was not spread across the educational spectrum; the number of primary school teachers increased by 1.1%, however, those in secondary schools fell by 1.3% – a trend echoed among teaching assistants and school support staff numbers. 

Importantly, although the number of FTW entrants decreased between 2015 and 2016, that figure remains slightly higher than the number of individuals choosing to leave the profession. 

The number of teaching assistants increased by 1% between 2015 and 2016 while school support staff figures were down by 1.3% in the same period. 

There are now 177,700 teaching assistants in nursery and primary school settings in England, although a 4.2% fall was seen among those in secondary schools. Support staff numbers followed the trend; nursery and primary schools remained steady, increasing by 0.8% and secondary schools employed 1.6% fewer staff. 

The changes highlight that opportunities exist across the education sector in England, with the 12 months between November 2015 and 2016 showing a hiring preference for primary schooling. 

A female dominated workforce? What can the education sector do to attract more male teachers and staff? 

Across England’s education sector, nearly three in four teachers are female, while four out of every five school employees are women. 

Overall, 73.9% of FTE teachers are female, although that figure rises to 84.6% among nursery and primary staff, and drops to 62% of secondary school teachers. 

It is a similar situation among teaching assistants and school support staff, as 91.4% and 82.2% respectively are female. 

Despite this, openings exist for both sexes in locations across England, with increases noted in teaching numbers in the under 30, 30-40 and 40-50 age brackets. 

On average, those teaching in nursery and primary settings were younger than those in secondary schools. 

Full-time and part-time opportunities 

Whereas 76.8% of teachers work full time, the number of those teaching part-time has continued to increase since 2010. 

Around 21.5% of teachers were part-time in 2010, a figure that had risen to 22% in 2014 and which now stands at 23.2%. 

As with other trends, a difference was noted between primary and secondary education, with 26.5% of teachers in the former and 18.8% in the latter working part-time. 

Such an approach provides a great deal of flexibility to fit the job around personal life and family commitments – this is especially the case among teaching assistants, as 85.1% work part-time. 

The average mean salary for FTE teachers rose by £600 to £38,000 according to the study, although it is worth noting that leadership teachers can expect to earn more than their classroom counterparts. 

A qualified workforce 

The number of teaching staff at degree level or higher qualifications increased between 2015 and 2016, from 97.3% to 98.5%. 

Most were delivering English Baccalaureate subjects too, with 65.7% of staff teaching English, maths, the sciences – including computer science – history, geography and modern and ancient languages. 

There were 920 vacancies across state schools for full-time permanent staff, which represents 0.3% of all roles – that figure has remained below 1% dating all the way back to 2000. 

A further 3,280 full-time posts were temporarily filled on short term contracts (lasting more than one term, but less than one year) in the year to November 2016. 

Sickness rates showcase the need for temporary staff 

More than half of all teaching staff (54%) recorded at least one period of absence in the year, meaning an average of 7.5 days were lost. 2.16 million days of teaching were lost in 2015/2016, equating to 4.1 days for every teacher in the English education sector, highlighting the imperative role of supply staff to help the continuity of learning in the classroom. 

You can view the full report by visiting 

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