Secondary schools spent £56m on teacher job ads last year says Labour

Secondary schools struggling to recruit sufficient staff spent an estimated £56m on advertising for vacant posts last year as a result of a growing crisis in teacher recruitment and retention, according to Labour.

A freedom of information request to a sample group of schools found that the average spend on advertising to fill teaching vacancies in 2014-15 was just under £17,000 – up from £10,000 four years ago.

Some individual schools revealed they were spending up to £80,000 a year on advertising, straining already overstretched school budgets as head teachers grapple with an estimated 8% real-terms cut in education spending.

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Labour, which based its findings on information provided by a sample of more than 120 secondary schools, says the figures represent a 61% increase in the amount spent on advertising since 2010. The proportion of schools that then have to readvertise when they fail to recruit first time round has also more than doubled over the past five years.

New figures from Labour suggest there are more than 5,300 vacancies in EBacc subjects – the core academic disciplines including English, maths and sciences – as the teacher recruitment and retention crisis continues to bite.

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