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News - 27 March 2013

Schools face teacher shortage crisis.

The labour Party has claimed that pupils in England could be taught in bigger classes and by unqualified staff from next September, as a rising population puts pressure on school capacity.

Shadow Education Secretary Stephen Twigg said an extra 15,000 teachers would be needed by 2014-15 as an additional 256,000 pupils start school.

But the Department for Education said his claims were "ridiculous".

Mr Twigg's comments come less than two weeks after the National Audit Office warned that a quarter of a million extra school places would be needed in England by autumn 2014.

The spending watchdog said one in five primary schools in England was full or near capacity and there were signs of "real strain" on places.

The Labour Party based its calculations on pupil population estimates; which show around 14,545 teachers are needed.  When this is added to the 520 vacancies they say are already in the system, it means that around 15,065 teachers will be required by the next election.

Addressing the ATL's conference in Liverpool on Wednesday, Mr Twigg said: "Michael Gove is presiding over a crisis in the teaching profession - with a huge shortage of teachers, and unqualified teachers getting into the classroom.”

Mr Twigg criticised the education secretary for allowing free schools and academies the freedom to employ staff who do not have qualified teacher status.

Lavinia Newman of ABDS comments:
"Teaching is a highly attractive profession - more top graduates and career changers than ever before are coming into teaching, and vacancy rates are at their lowest since 2005. Teacher training applications for fee-based postgraduate courses in England are up by more than 1,500 applicants on this time last year.”

If you need any help and advice with Free School or Academy Schools, contact Lavinia Newman or Peter Ham now to discuss how ABDS can help bring their experience to these matters.

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