You are here:

House of Commons Library

Teachers in England and the UK: Social Indicators page

Published Monday, November 27, 2017

Summary of data on teacher numbers, flows and vacancies. Includes 2014/15 UK data on teachers.

Jump to full report >>

There were 500,000 full-time equivalent qualified teachers in state funded nursery, primary and secondary schools in 2015/16.

The ratio of pupils to teachers was at its lowest level in primary schools in 2010/11 and the 2012/13 ratios in secondary schools were the lowest since the early 1990s.

The recent peak in teacher vacancy rates was 4,700 or 1.4% in 2001.Vacancies have fallen since then to 1,460, or 0.5% in 2010. A new series, not comparable to the earlier data, estimated a rate of 0.1% in November 2010, rising to 0.3% in 2016.

Teacher vacancies peaked at almost 6,500 in 1990, well above the more recent high in 2001. The latest vacancy rates are similar to those seen in the mid 1990s.

Entrants to full-time teaching increased up to 2008-09 before falling back by 8% in 2009-10. Increases since 2011 have taken the annual total almost back to its 2008-09 level.


The number of leavers fell steadily for much of the last decade before increasing from 2010 onwards. It exceeded entrants in 2011-12, 2015-16 and 2016-17.

Commons Briefing papers SN02626

Author: Lydia Jackson

Topics: Schools, Teachers

Share this page

Stay up to date

  • Subscribe to RSS feed Subscribe to Email alerts Commons Briefing papers

House of Commons Library

The House of Commons Library provides research, analysis and information services for MPs and their staff.