Children on computers in classroom

London schools face teacher shortage

16 November 2016

Why is it becoming harder to recruit new teachers for London schools?

How are schools dealing with the emerging problem at present, and what additional support may be required in future?

What is the impact on school budgets and pupil performance?

What can the Mayor do to address the growing problem of teacher recruitment and retention?

  • The increasing challenge of training and retaining teachers is leading to higher costs for schools - for both recruitment and the supply of temporary teaching staff - at a time when funding for London schools may be reducing[1].
  • From 2010 to 2015 the number of schools reporting classroom vacancies has risen, particularly for inner London primary schools (from 8.8 per cent to 16 per cent) and outer London secondary schools (from 20.8 per cent to 30.4 per cent)[2].


The London Assembly Education Panel will tomorrow examine the increasing challenge of training and retaining teachers.

The following guests will be questioned:

  • Martin Powell-Davies, Regional Secretary, London National Union of Teachers
  • Stuart Merritt, the Compton School and London representative from the Teaching Schools Council
  • Catherine Smith, London and South East representative, United Learning
  • Karen Wespieser, Head of Impact, National Foundation for Educational Research
  • Caroline Boswell, Head of Education and Youth, Greater London Authority


The meeting will take place on Thursday 17 November from 2:00pm in the Chamber, City Hall (The Queen’s Walk, London SE1).

Media and members of the public are invited to attend

The meeting can also be viewed via webcast.

Follow us @LondonAssembly and take part in the discussion using #AssemblyEdu

Notes to editors

  1. School funding in England. Current system and proposals for 'fairer school funding', House of Commons briefing paper, August 2016, page 17.
  2. Figures are taken from the Department for Education’s annual workforce report – dataset SFR44/2016.
  3. Full agenda papers.
  4. Jennette Arnold OBE AM, Chair of the Education Panel is available for interview.  See contact details below.
  5. As well as investigating issues that matter to Londoners, the London Assembly acts as a check and a balance on the Mayor.


For media enquiries, please contact Mary Dolan 020 7983 4603.  For out of hours media enquiries, call 020 7983 4000 and ask for the London Assembly duty press officerNon-media enquiries should be directed to the Public Liaison Unit on 020 7983 4100.

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