Staff Numbers are Falling Exponentially

The latest Welsh Government figures show that teacher numbers in Wales are falling faster than they are across the rest of the UK, raising fears about an increased strain on the teaching staff.

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The number of teachers employed by local authorities in Wales fell from 30,941 to 28,812 between 2012 and 2017 – a 6 per cent drop. This is significantly higher than the 1-2 per cent drop in England and Scotland over the same period.

This has led to worries about the workloads for existing teachers increasing and whether there is enough experienced teaching staff available to meet student needs. The Welsh Government has said it will spend £10 million on recruiting more teachers, but this may not be enough.

The Welsh Government has also faced criticism for the funding of education in Wales, with a report by the Education Workforce Council suggesting that teacher pay is lower than in other parts of the UK. This could lead to experienced teachers leaving the profession prematurely or not taking up roles in Wales due to its lower pay levels.

The pressure on teaching staff looks set to increase as there are reports of a rise in class sizes and problems recruiting enough supply teachers. Long-term, this could lead to an even greater strain on already overstretched teaching staff, likely impacting pupil attainment.

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It remains to be seen how effective the £10 million investment from the Welsh Government will be in tackling these issues. Still, more must be done to relieve the pressure on teachers in Wales and ensure pupils get the best possible education. The Welsh Government has said it is committed to improving education in the country, but more funding and resources are sorely needed if this is achieved. It is up to elected officials in Wales to ensure these issues are addressed and that teachers receive the support they need. Only then can we make sure that pupils in Wales are getting the quality education they deserve§§ COM

The National Education Union (NEU) in Wales has called for the Welsh Government to invest more money into education and boost teacher numbers, citing reports that there are currently over 600 unfilled teaching posts. This lack of staff is particularly concerning given that pupils in Wales already underperform on several key indicators, such as GCSE results, compared to those elsewhere in the UK.

The NEU also wants improvements to pay and conditions for teachers in Wales so they can compete with other parts of the country. This would help bring experienced professionals into the teaching profession, alleviate pressure on existing staff and ensure pupils have access to high-quality teaching standards.

What do you think of the teacher’s fears? Are they reasonable?

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