What does the latest workforce census tell us?


The Department for Education has released the latest data from its annual school workforce census, putting the spotlight on the nation’s education sector.

Undertaken in November 2019 and covering publically funded schools in England, the data looks into teacher numbers, those entering and leaving the profession, staff retention and a host of other factors.

Here are some of the main findings from the school workforce survey:

The school workforce

At the time of the survey, the full-time equivalent of 945,805 people had roles in England’s state-funded schools.

Of that figure, nearly 454,000 were teachers – a rise of 0.9% on the year previously – while 95% of those in teaching jobs hold qualified teacher status.

More than 43,000 staff entered teaching, with 53% of those staff being newly qualified teachers.

Newly qualified teachers are more likely to stay in the profession too, as 85.4% of new teachers from 2018 remained in the profession a year later.

Fewer teachers left the profession in the 12 months to November 2019 too, as the leaving rate declined to 9.2%.

Teacher pay is increasing

The average salary for all staff in full time teaching jobs rose by around 2% year-on-year and now stands at £40,537.

For regular teachers, the average is £37,192, while leadership teachers (excluding head teachers) can expect an average salary of nearly £55,000.

A head teacher meanwhile can expect an average salary of £71,655.

Male teaching staff were found to take home more than their female counterparts across all pay grades, although the gulf widens among head teachers.

A pay gap of around 2% exists for teaching staff, while that climbs to an average of 12% among head teachers.

Pupil to teacher ratios

The pupil to teacher ratio remained steady in state-funded primary schools during both 2018 and 2019 – despite a rise in pupil numbers – at 20.9.

At secondary level, the ratio rose slightly from 16.3 to 16.6, continuing a trend of year-on-year increases that started in 2012.

Meanwhile, in England’s state-funded special schools, the pupil to teacher ratio stands at 5.9, having continued to rise marginally since 2013.

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