Which local authorities will need more teachers in the near future? I Oxford Open Learning

    Which local authorities will need more teachers in the near future?

    The number of pupils in the UK is increasing, but in England many local authorities aren’t recruiting enough teachers to maintain or reduce the pupil:teacher ratio.

    Across the country, the average ratio in state-funded schools has increased by 2.2% from 18.1 to 18.5 children per teacher, with some authorities reporting increases of up to 11%.

    Below, you can see how local authorities in your region are coping.


    East of England

    Schools in the East of England have seen an average increase of 2.7% to their pupil:teacher ratios, rising from 18.6 in 2016/17 to 19.1 in 2020/21.

    In response, the region has significantly increased the number of teachers it is hiring, with a rise of 32% in job vacancies over the same time period. This means that it is generally hiring enough teachers to address the change.

    Southend-on-Sea has seen the largest increase in the number of pupils per teacher, with an increase of 7%, whilst Luton actually reported a decrease of 1%, meaning it is the least affected local authority in the region.

    East Midlands

    Local authorities in the East Midlands reported an average increase of 2.1%, increasing from 18.8 children per qualified teacher to 19.2.

    Meanwhile, the region is also increasing the number of teaching vacancies, with a 14% rise in the number of available jobs.

    Nottingham reported not only the largest ratio increase in the region, but the largest in England, with an increase of 11%, from 16.8 pupils per teacher to 18.6. Derby, on the other hand, saw a considerable decrease of 11%.

    Inner London

    State schools in Inner London saw the smallest ratio increase of any region in England, with a rise of 1.2%. The ratio increased from 16.2 to 16.4 students per staff member.

    Despite this small increase, councils in the region are continuing to increase their recruitment of teachers, with a 22% rise in job vacancies.

    Wandsworth saw the largest individual increase of any local authority in the region, with a ratio increase of 7%. Elsewhere, the City of London recorded the largest drop in England, with a huge 23% ratio decrease.


    North East

    Schools in the North East recorded the second largest ratio increase in England, with a rise of 3.5% (17.3 up to 17.9).

    However, this growth is not being offset by an increase in recruitment, with local authorities recruiting 38% fewer teachers now than they were in 2016/17.

    Gateshead’s ratio increased the most, with a rise of 9%, whilst Middlesbrough recorded a 2% decrease in the number of pupils per teacher.

    North West

    The North West also saw a sizeable increase, with a 3.4% change to its ratio, as the number of pupils per teacher has increased from 17.7 to 18.3.

    Schools in the region are also recruiting fewer teachers than required to offset the change, with 1% fewer vacancies listed.

    Liverpool recorded the largest increase, with 9% more students per qualified teacher than five years ago, whilst schools in Oldham and Manchester both saw their ratios stay the same as in 2016/17.

    Outer London

    Schools in Outer London reported a 1.6% increase in the number of pupils per teacher, as the ratio rose from 18.3 to 18.6.

    Additionally, local authorities in the region are hiring 8% more teachers than they were in 2016/17.

    Redbridge recorded the largest increase of any local authority in the region, with a rise of 6%, compared to Merton, which reported a decrease of 6%.

    South East

    Local authorities in the South East saw an average increase of 2.2% to their pupil:teachers ratios, rising from 18.4 to 18.8.

    Despite this, the region is not recruiting enough teachers to cover this increase, with the number of teaching vacancies decreasing by 16%.

    Portsmouth recorded the greatest increase in the number of students per qualified teacher (8%), whilst schools in Hampshire saw a decrease of 1%.

    South West

    The country’s largest regional increase is found in the South West, where the pupil:teacher ratio has risen by 4.5% rise from 17.7 to 18.5.

    The good news is that schools are reacting and have also increased their recruitment of teachers, with a 30% rise in the number of vacancies.

    Swindon has seen one of the largest increases across the country (10%), whilst Wiltshire recorded the lowest increase in the region, with a rise of 2%.

    West Midlands

    Schools in the West Midlands have seen an increase of 2.8%, rising from 18 to 18.5.

    However, local authorities are not recruiting sufficiently to stop this rising further, with an overall reduction of 21% in the number of teacher vacancies between 2016/17 and 2020/21.

    Walsall saw the highest increase to the pupil:teacher ratio, with a rise of 9%. Staffordshire, on the other hand, saw a decrease of 3%.

    Yorkshire & the Humber

    Local authorities in Yorkshire and the Humber experienced an increase of 1.6%, with the ratio rising from 18.6 to 18.9.

    Despite a relatively low increase in the pupil:teacher ratio, schools across the region stepped back their recruitment of teachers, with a 34% decrease in 2020/21 compared to 2016/17.

    Calderdale saw the greatest ratio rise (6%), whilst York saw the most significant decrease (11%).


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    Greg is the Head Of Operations at Oxford Home Schooling and has more than 25 years of experience in Distance Learning and Home Education