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This blog post was published under the 2015-2024 Conservative Administration

Education in the media: 5 October

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Teacher recruitment

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Today’s news review looks at claims by the National Union of Teachers about funding for opportunity areas; the money spent by schools on supply teachers; and calls by Teach First to attract more men into teaching.

Opportunity areas

Yesterday, 5 October, the Huffington Post reported that schools in the six new opportunity areas announced by the Secretary of State will see cuts of 8 per cent in funding, based on figures put forward by the NUT.

We do not recognise these figures. In reality, we are providing a record amount of school funding this year. We are also yet to consult on a funding formula so the figures are purely based on speculation.

Supply teachers

Today, Wednesday 5 October, Good Morning Britain ran a story claiming that schools have spent £1.26 billion on supply teachers over the course of a year.

This story was also covered by The Sun.

It is important to note that the £1.26 billion represents a very small proportion of the total expenditure by schools – less than 3% in academies.

We are clear that supply teachers play a valuable role in schools, but we want to attract more permanent staff into teaching. That’s why we’re investing hundreds of millions into teacher recruitment, including increased bursaries in STEM subjects.

A Department for Education spokesperson said:

Supply teachers provide a valuable role for schools and we trust heads and governors, who best understand the needs of their schools, to decide how they recruit and deploy staff. Spend on supply teachers typically represents a small proportion of the total expenditure made by schools – in academies it is less than three per cent.


The number of teachers entering our classrooms continues to outnumber those who retire or leave, and retention rates have been broadly stable for 20 years. But we know there is more to do, which is why we are investing in the system to attract the best and the brightest into teaching, helping schools to advertise vacancies more easily and expanding Teach First to get more top graduates working in some of the most challenging parts of the country.

Male teachers

To mark World Teachers' Day, Teach First is today urging more men to consider a career in the sector.

The charity is warning that at a time when  schools needs to be recruiting many more teachers, the lack of men entering the profession represents a major untapped resource, largely due to misconceptions about teaching as a career.

The proportion of male participants on Teach First’s most recent 2016 Leadership Development Programme was just 30%.

The story was covered in BBC Online and Sky News.

We welcome Teach First’s campaign and share their drive to get the best teachers into the classroom, including more men. While the number of male teachers is steadily rising – there are more than 1,800 more male teachers now than in 2011 – we encourage more men and women to enter the profession.

A Department for Education spokesperson said:

We welcome this drive from Teach First to encourage more men into a career in teaching. Our priority is getting the brightest and the best teachers into our classrooms, including male staff at all levels. That’s why we’re spending millions of pounds on recruiting high-quality teachers. There are now more than 1,800 more male teachers than in 2011 and the proportion of male trainee teachers has also increased.


We can be proud of the fact that teaching is an increasingly popular profession, with more young men and women embracing the opportunity to inspire and shape the lives of the next generation.

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