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Secondary Education: Teachers

Question for Department for Education

UIN HL4748, tabled on 6 December 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to increase the number of secondary school teachers in England.

Answered on

20 December 2021

The number of teachers remains high, with over 461,000 (FTE) working in schools across the country, 20,000 more than in 2010. The department aims to continue to attract and then retain the highly skilled teachers that every child needs. We are taking action to improve teacher recruitment and retention by transforming the training and support we provide to not only attract more people into teaching, but to help teachers stay and thrive in the profession.

The department is creating an entitlement to at least three years of structured training, support and professional development for all new teachers to bring teaching in line with other prestigious professions such as law, accountancy and medicine. Underpinning this is the new Initial Teacher Training (ITT) Core Content Framework and the Early Career Framework (ECF). Together, these ensure that new teachers will benefit from at least three years of evidence-based training, across ITT and into their induction.

To support recruitment and retention of specialist secondary teachers in subjects that are harder to recruit, we have put in place a range of measures, including bursaries worth £24,000 tax-free and prestigious scholarships worth £26,000 tax-free. This will encourage talented trainees into key subjects, such as chemistry, computing, mathematics and physics. Additionally, we have announced a levelling up premium worth up to £3,000 tax-free for teachers in these subjects in years 1 to 5 of their careers.

Furthermore, the department offers bespoke programmes to attract people who may not otherwise have considered teaching. These include the High Potential Initial Teacher Training and Leadership Development Programme and a dedicated programme to attract, support and retain those with career and industry experience into teaching.

The department recognises the importance of increasing the consideration of teaching as a career of choice amongst undergraduates, and therefore we continue to support schools to deliver our teaching internship programme in mathematics, physics and computing. Our expert teacher training advisers offer bespoke, personalised support for candidates across all subjects who are looking to apply for ITT.

We also remain committed to increasing teacher starting salaries to £30,000 to make teaching an attractive graduate option. We are continuing our efforts to support teacher wellbeing, including by launching the education Staff Wellbeing Charter, which is available at:, and by driving down unnecessary burdens and reducing teacher workload though the use of our Workload Reduction Toolkit, which can be found here: