Blackpool’s schools facing shortage of teachers

Teacher shortage
Teacher shortage

Blackpool’s schools are facing a growing teacher shortage as pupil numbers rise and recruitment falls, says a major new report.

The resort is the 10th worst in the country for unfilled vacancies – although its relatively small number of schools means this amounts to just three unfilled posts.

A total of 1.3 per cent of posts in the resort are unfilled, according to the data.

An investigation by the BBC Local News Partnership, which includes The Gazette, found there were a total of 920 vacancies for full-time permanent teachers in England’s state-funded schools last year.

With a baby boom set to swell the school population to 3m by 2020 and 3.33m by 2025, there are real fears there will be too few teachers to cope.

There were two unfilled posts at one Blackpool primary school, and one unfilled post at another.

Of 154 local authorities, Blackpool was 10th while the Lancashire area, which includes schools in Fylde and Wyre, came a mid-table 79th for vacancies.

Paul Howells, chief executive of Eteach, which works with schools on recruitment, said: “Teaching is failing to attract enough graduates, and schools are struggling to hold on to their current teachers, creating a perfect stormpressures.”

A Department for Education spokesman said: “These figures do not reflect the fact that the teacher vacancy rate in 2016 remained low - at 0.3 per cent. The number of teachers entering our classrooms is outnumbering those who retire or leave, and there are now more teachers in our schools than ever before - 15,500 more since 2010.”