The UK has a shortage of qualified & trainee school teachers in primary & secondary education system.
With more than 39,000 schools in villages, towns and cities around the UK England has the highest demand for teachers of all subjects and children’s school ages.
From KS1, 2, 3 in England & Wales to P1-7 and S1-S4 in Scotland compulsory education school teachers are required to fill gaps in recruitment shortfalls in stem subjects including English, languages, maths and sciences.
The education sector competes with private business and other public sector occupations for skilled graduates to train and work as teachers.
UK most in demand school teaching subjects
- Physics secondary school teachers for 11-18 year old are always in demand to teach a stem subject.
- Chemistry teachers to teach school pupils in this compulsory subject from 11-16 years old.
- Gaelic medium teacher’s at primary, nursery & secondary education in Scotland.
- Modern foreign languages teachers at primary & secondary schools to teach German, French, Spanish and Italian.
- Native mandarin teachers to introduce school pupils to an Asian language.
- Computing teachers to teach information technology as a compulsory or optional subject.
- Mathematics teachers are in short supply for secondary education to teach 11-18 year olds.
- Biology teachers of science for secondary school pupils at 11-18 years old.
Why a shortage of teachers for certain school subjects
Many UK schools are finding it more difficult to recruit and retain stem maths, sciences, computing and language teachers due to factors including skills shortage, fewer trainee teachers and lower wages compared to private business.
UK school children and university students are choosing to study other subject areas such as sports, media, arts, drama, business, politics leading to fewer UK graduates or school leavers with suitable shortage subject skills and qualifications.
University students are choosing other subjects to teach as maths, physics, sciences, computing and languages are more difficult subjects to learn and teach to school children.
Stem teaching subjects such as chemistry also require top grades to be offered a university study place where a good number of school leaver doesn’t gain sufficient grades to be offered a place.
People choose an alternative career so they can have a better work life balance than a teacher working over 50 hours a week, keeping up with the subject and educational issues.
A school teacher is lower paid compared to private companies offering higher salaries, bonuses and other incentives. UK private business tends to have 30-130% higher starting salaries than teachers, more middle management openings, and much faster career progression opportunities.
High demand school teaching subject areas compete with other top graduates in other professions to work in finance, research, law, sciences, medical and commercial business.
Basically, top performing school leavers and university graduates have a large choice of career paths resulting in fewer people choosing a career in teaching at a UK school in Scotland, Wales or England.
Stem teachers leaving teaching after a few years: People train as a stem teacher, for example biology then teach for 4-6 years afterwards leave the teaching profession changing career or start a business themselves.
Initial teacher training funding grants & bursaries
To help reverse a trend of high demand and school teacher shortage in primary and secondary schools the UK English, Scottish & Welsh governments provide teacher training grants, bursaries or paid salary for training as a teacher in shortage subject areas.
England secondary bursaries & scholarships subjects
- Design and technology
- Modern foreign languages
- Design and technology
- Classics with ancient language
You’re not too old to become a UK teacher at 35, 40, 50 or maybe 60 as long as you choose an appropriate subject and you are physically and mentally able to teach school age children full or part time.
Secondary school present & future teacher demand is for computer science teachers for the UK work place, maths, physics, chemistry, modern foreign language and geography teacher demand.
Graduates in high demand school subjects will receive cash bursaries up to £26,000 to train as teachers.
Additionally, England schools teachers of chemistry, maths, physics, and computing will receive up to £3,000 extra to they’re salary each year for 5 years.
Education department are providing
“A total of £129 million is available for trainee teachers starting in 2022/23, which includes increased bursaries of £15,000 for languages, geography and design and technology, and £10,000 for biology – in addition to the existing £24,000 bursary or £26,000 scholarship for maths, physics, chemistry and computing”.
Skilled worker visa shortage occupation list
To attract overseas qualified teachers the UK government offers a skilled worker visa to qualifying candidates should they’re subject be listed.
The shortage occupation list was implemented to attract overseas skilled workers to work & live in the UK filling gaps in recruitment in vital areas where UK applicants are not sufficient.
The UK skilled worker visa helps to fill teacher vacancies that the Scottish, English and Welsh governments’ teacher training & recruitment targets have not been met.
- Primary, secondary and nursery Gaelic medium teacher’s for Scotland nurseries and schools only.
- Secondary teachers for mathematics anywhere in the UK.
- Physics secondary school teachers in UK.
- Secondary school science teacher with physics included in the teaching timetable.
- Computer science teacher.
- Modern foreign language teachers, including mandarin in UK secondary schools.
Stem & school core subjects needed in UK
School subjects such as physics, chemistry, languages, maths and computing taught at primary & secondary in the UK are important to educate and skill the future work force.
Primary schools in Scotland, N Ireland, Wales and England provide children foundation education in a range of subject areas including stem & core topic areas in English, maths and science.
Secondary education schools when children start at 11-12 they’re introduced to separate subjects of computer science, chemistry, physics and biology with practical and theory lessons.
Modern foreign languages including German, French and Italian and Spanish is taught to give pupils language skills useful for further education or the workplace.
Computing, maths & chemistry students also study these compulsory subjects at secondary school until 16 then optional from 16-18 years old leading to university degree courses or use the skills and knowledge to work in UK industry sectors.