Employment Statistics In The Education Sector
by Arnab Dey How to Guides 30 January 2023
There is increasing strain being placed on our education sector in England and across the United Kingdom.
State schools across England are dealing with increasing class sizes, a greater number of children with challenging behavior, as well as more pupils struggling with basic reading, writing, and verbal communication in their early years.
All in all, the most recent employment statistics in the education sector suggest there are some pretty difficult challenges ahead.
What Are The Trends In The Number of Teachers in England?
The number of teachers in the UK is on a downward trend when compared with the number of children in the education system.
There are just more children to teach as the school-age population continues to grow. This is a greater issue for some age groups, and it is expected that there will be an extra 37,000 children in secondary education by 2028.
How Many People Are Employed in the Education Sector?
According to government data, there are nearly 1 million people employed in state schools in England. From that figure, there are around 470,000 of those in teaching positions, with the remaining people working in support or administrative roles.
On the face of it, it seems like we have plenty of teachers in the system, but there are factors such as inflation, pay stagnation, and working conditions that will likely affect the number of teachers who stay in the post over the coming years. Indeed, teachers’ unions are calling for strikes in an attempt to improve the working lives of teachers.
How Do Employment Trends In Education Compare With The Wider Employment Sector
The employment trends in the education sector reflect wider employment trends across the country at large. Unemployment figures are incredibly low compared to historical figures. However, there are more open positions than we have seen in recent years, which tells us there are potentially bigger problems coming.
When it comes to employment trends within the education sector, the number of teachers working in the UK has increased slightly since 2016. However, employment in some teaching roles is still down in previous years due to increased curriculum demands and the demand for more specialist roles such as STEM subjects.
The number of teachers under the age of 30 makes up nearly a quarter of the teaching staff. It is not clear if there are geographical trends when it comes to the distribution of teaching staff.
However, as the teaching workforce ages, schools need to be aware of staff attrition, and how this will impact workforce management over the medium-long term. There are also going to be gaps in the experience of teachers, although it is not clear if this will be a detrimental influence on the quality of teaching over time.
What Can Be Done To Address These Issues?
There are no simple solutions to the issues. Whilst there are specialist teaching recruitment companies that can help schools identify teachers for vacant positions.
However, there are often costs associated with using such companies. Given that school budgets are already strained, additional costs in the form of recruitment fees may continue to make the problems worse, while also not addressing the underlying issues.
Ultimately, teachers are calling for the UK government to address many years of wage stagnation. It’s fair to say that paying more to keep good teachers in the profession should be a priority, especially when the costs associated with sourcing new teaching are taken into account.
It remains to be seen how employment trends will change over the coming years. However, it is clear that quality education should be prioritized to give future generations the best chance to thrive in the modern world.