Secondary School Class Sizes at their Highest Level Since 1979
Teacher Vacancies Up By 14.7 % in One Year
Responding to government
figures released last week, Member of Parliament for
Kingston & Surbiton, Edward Davey criticised the
government's inability to tackle the problem of growing
class sizes and worsening teacher shortages.
Edward Davey, who recently
raised education funding with the Prime Minister at
Question Time said:
1. Highest average class sizes in secondary schools since 1979 are shown in data from the House of Commons Library.
2. There are 7,000 fewer teachers in secondary schools than there were in 1990 and more than 30,000 fewer than there were in 1985 [DfEE SFR 13/2000 12 April 2000 page 7 table 2].
3. Number of teacher vacancies has risen by 14.7 % since last year and is 47 per cent higher than in 1997 [DfEE SFR 13/2000 12 April 2000 page table 8].
4. The number of temporary teachers working for a month or less has risen by nearly two thirds since 1985 and has jumped by 18 per cent in a single year since 1999 [DfEE SFR 13/2000 12 April 2000 page 6 table 1]
5. Average class size for 8-11 year olds has risen in Inner and Outer London by 0.2 % since 1999 [DfEE SFR 15/2000 12 April 2000 table 2]
6. Average class size for 8-11 year olds are rising in Inner and Outer London by 0.2 % on each case since last year [DfEE SFR 15/2000 12 April 2000]
7. Teacher shortages have worsened in key subjects since last year. The worst rises are from 0.8 % to 1.2 % in Mathematics and from 0.9 to 1.3 % in Information Technology. There have also been rises in English, Languages and the Sciences.
8. A new study from the
University of North London published last week
highlighted that 41 per cent of all teachers in London
plan to leave within five years. There is a prospect of
an 18 per cent shortfall between the number of vacancies
and the number of trained teachers available to fill
them. This will force schools to turn to supply agencies
to provide temporary supply teachers. In his latest
annual report Chief Inspector of schools, Chris Woodhead,
warned that a quarter of lessons taught by supply
teachers had been judged unsatisfactory. In 1999 nearly
40 per cent of all vacancies in primary schools in
England and one third of all vacancies in secondary
schools were in London. Nearly half of all agency supply
teachers in England worked in London schools last year.