UK teacher shortage predicted


The UK will face a shortfall of around 128,000 teachers by 2050 because of an ageing workforce, skills shortages and restrictive migration policies, says recruitment company Randstad Education.

The company has used the most recent European population data from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, to project employment patterns and changes in the UK population. Its analysis shows a gap between employment demand and workforce supply across the UK workforce as a whole of 3.1m by 2050. The education sector is set to suffer the most, with an estimated deficit of 127,500 teachers. Other sectors will also encounter large workforce shortfalls, with the construction industry facing a 66,800 gap and the health care sector facing a 61,200 shortage.

The Government has introduced a number of measures to combat the predicted dearth of qualified teachers in the future, including incentives to attract private sector workers into teaching, and schemes to entice those taking early retirement and extended maternity breaks back into the profession. However, Randstad Education’s Managing Director Jenny Rollinson cautioned that “whilst these initiatives make some difference they can’t possibly combat the shortfall we are facing.”

She also warned against the temptation to supplement qualified teaching staff with unqualified teaching assistants. “This is not a trend that can continue if we want to ensure our classrooms have the very best people inspiring and leading our children to great things”, she said.

For more information on the study, click here.

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  1. Teacher recruitment to special schools should be protected from this predicted shortfall. Special school are urged to commit to the School Direct initiative and link closely with higher education. Vocationally minded teaching assistants can be readily supported/sponsored to obtain graduate status and then progress to QTS via School Direct. There are on line training materials (eg CLDD)that can assist relatively small schools provide a range of study modules. Special schools do not necessarily need physics graduates, but they do require teachers skilled in specialist pedagogy who are self-motivated to facilitate optimal standards of learning in challenging circumstances.

  2. At the moment there is not a shortage of Art teachers. I applied for a job at a school and they received 400 applications. I trained in 2007 and have had very little look gating consistent employment. I have worked in a prison, abroad and even in a bank. I have had a few placements in schools t cover illness, but nothing really secure. I have met a lot of Art teachers as well as from other none shortage subjects who have had the same issue. Pay ranges from £50 to £120 per day, but this does not include holiday pay, or the fact that you are not guaranteed to work 5 days a week. The government really needs to look at how many teachers they are training for each subject and cut back.


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