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Teacher Shortage in England – Topical Tuesdays Activities from First News

image of Teacher Shortage in England – Topical Tuesdays Activities from First News
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Teacher vacancies in England have more than doubled in three years. Despite more teachers being hired, many are leaving, which has increased vacancies from 1,100 in November 2020 to 2,800 in November 2023. Also, the government has missed its teacher trainee recruitment targets for nine out of the last ten years, so there are fewer teachers coming in.


Teaching should be a rewarding and respected profession. So, why has it become so hard to keep teachers in the role? Have they gained unrealistic expectations about what is involved? Shouldn’t they just be grateful to have the job? Or should the number of teachers leaving the profession be ringing alarm bells? Have they been let down by successive governments? Isn’t it a waste of money to spend all that time training them only to lose them because they’re not being properly looked after? What do you think?

Writing skills

Write a thank you letter to a teacher, whether it’s the one who is teaching you now or one whose classes you have particularly liked in the past. Remember to specify why you are grateful for what they have done for you and use all the features of an informal letter.


Write an advertisement designed to attract more people into teaching. As well as describing all the great things about the job, outline what qualities you think someone needs to thrive in the classroom. Remember to write in the second person (you, your) in order to communicate directly with the right sort of candidate. Try to include an eye-catching headline.


Find out how many hours per week a teacher works on average in the UK. Calculate how much of that is spent actually teaching. List at least three tasks that they have to do when not directly teaching.

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