School Workforce Census: a review

Figure 1: Number of school staff (2011-2015)
Sample sizes: Primary schools – All: 16,423-17,021. Outstanding: 2,399-2,968. Good: 9,479-11,108. Requires improvement: 1,598-1,974. Inadequate: 108-141. Secondary schools – All: 3,042-3,331. Outstanding: 477-692. Good: 1,118-1,647. Requires improvement: 403-625. Inadequate: 66-126. Sample sizes vary because data are not always available for all schools in all years.
Sources: Department for Education; SchoolDash analysis.
Maps 1 and 2: Average percentage change in staff and pupils at primary schools (2011-2015)
Maps 3 and 4: Average percentage change in staff and pupils at secondary schools (2011-2015)
Figure 2: Staff characteristics by phase of education (2015)
Notes: 'Infant schools' are those with an upper age limit of 7 or 8. 'Junior schools' are those with a lower age limit of 7 or 8 and an upper age limit of 11. Both infant and junior schools are also included in the larger category of 'Primary schools'. 'Sixth forms' include secondary schools with a sixth form and a smaller number of standalone sixth-form colleges. 'Support staff' consist mainly of administrative staff while 'Auxiliary staff' are those working in areas such as catering and school maintenance.
Sample sizes: Infant: 192-1,295. Primary: 2,189-16,830. Junior: 150-1,103. Secondary: 1,656-3,328. Sixth forms: 1,070-2,200.
Sample sizes vary because not all data fields are available for all schools.
Sources: Department for Education; SchoolDash analysis.
Maps 5 and 6: Percentage of qualified teachers at primary and secondary schools (2015)
Figure 3: Staff characteristics at urban, suburban and rural schools (2015)
Notes: Urban, suburban and rural groups use ONS rural-urban categories applied to school postcodes.
Sample sizes: Primary schools – Urban: 990-5,507. Suburban: 1,109-8,395. Rural: 90-2,928.
Secondary schools – Urban: 609-1,252. Suburban: 954-1,958. Rural: 57-118.
Sample sizes vary because not all data fields are available for all schools.
Sources: Department for Education; SchoolDash analysis.
Figure 4: Staff characteristics by Ofsted rating (2015)
Sample sizes: Primary schools – Outstanding: 381-2,953. Good: 1,406-11,030. Requires improvement: 288-1,949. Inadequate: 17-137.
Secondary schools – Outstanding: 351-692. Good: 824-1,647. Requires improvement: 305-623. Inadequate: 62-121.
Sample sizes vary because not all data fields are available for all schools.
Sources: Department for Education; SchoolDash analysis.
Figure 5: Staff characteristics at mixed and single-sex secondary schools (2015)
Sample sizes: Mixed-sex: 1,462-2,950. Single-sex: 193-378. Boys only: 79-162. Girls only: 107-216.
Sample sizes vary because not all data fields are available for all schools.
Sources: Department for Education; SchoolDash analysis.
Figure 6: Changes in teacher characteristics (2013-2015)
Note: Please pay attention to the vertical scale, which varies with the data being displayed in order to make any changes easier to see. The range of the vertical scale is fixed at 30 percentage points, so similar sized gaps always correspond to similar absolute differences.
Sample sizes: Primary schools: 4,776-11,030. Secondary schools: 2,346-3,328.
Sample sizes vary because data are not always available for all schools in all years.
Sources: Department for Education; SchoolDash analysis.
Figure 7: Teacher sickness leave (2011-2015)
Sample sizes: Primary schools: 11,985-16,117. Secondary schools: 2,352-3,075.
Sample sizes vary because data are not always available for all schools in all years.
Sources: Department for Education; SchoolDash analysis.
Maps 7 and 8: Days lost to sickness and percentage of teachers taking sick leave at primary schools (2015)
Maps 9 and 10: Days lost to sickness and percentage of teachers taking sick leave at secondary schools (2015)
Figure 8: Teacher sickness leave by primary school type (2015)
Note: The size of each dot represents the number of pupils in that group of schools; hover over each one to view relevant data. School deprivation figures based on pupils' eligibility for free school meals, with bands defined by the DfE. Local deprivation figures based on the mean IDACI of postcodes within a 2km radius of each school, with schools then divided into three roughly equally sized groups. Coastal schools are within 5km of the coast. Small schools have fewer than 200 pupils, large ones have more than 320. A small proportion of low attainers means less than 12% and a high proportion means more than 18%. Urban, suburban and rural groups use ONS rural-urban categories applied to school postcodes.
Sources: Department for Education; Department for Communities and Local Government; Office for National Statistics; SchoolDash analysis.
Figure 9: Teacher sickness leave at primary schools by local authority area (2015)
Note: The Isles of Scilly have been omitted due to insufficient data. See footnote to Figure 8 for further details.
Click on the legend at the top to show or hide particular groups of schools. Double-click on an item to view that group on its own.
Sources: Department for Education; Department for Communities and Local Government; Office for National Statistics; SchoolDash analysis.
Figure 10: Teacher sickness leave by secondary school type (2015)
Note: Local deprivation figures based on the mean IDACI of postcodes within a 4km radius of each school, with schools then divided into three roughly equally sized groups. Small schools have fewer than 550 pupils, large ones have more than 1,000.See footnote to Figure 8 for further details.
Sources: Department for Education; SchoolDash analysis.
Figure 11: Teacher sickness leave at secondary schools by local authority area (2015)
Note: Local deprivation figures based on the mean IDACI of postcodes within a 4km radius of each school, with schools then divided into three roughly equally sized groups. Small schools have fewer than 550 pupils, large ones have more than 1,000.See footnote to Figure 8 for further details.
Sources: Department for Education; Department for Communities and Local Government; Office for National Statistics; SchoolDash analysis.
Figure 12: Vacant and temporarily filled teaching positions (2015)
Sample sizes: Primary schools – Outstanding: 2,968. Good: 11,109. Requires improvement: 1,974. Inadequate: 140.
Secondary schools – Outstanding: 692. Good: 1,647. Requires improvement: 625. Inadequate: 121.
Sources: Department for Education; Department for Communities and Local Government; Office for National Statistics; SchoolDash analysis.
Maps 11 and 12: Percentage of temporarily filled teaching positions at secondary schools in England and London (2015)
  • Primary schools are growing while secondary schools are more or less flat overall, though the most successful secondary schools are continuing to get bigger.
  • The proportions of qualified teachers and those over 50 are in slow but steady decline. More happily, so too is the number of days lost to teacher sickness.
  • However, there are large variations in sickness leave by school type and geography. In general (and with notable exceptions), higher-performing and smaller schools located in wealthier or more rural areas lose fewer days.
  • In addition, under-performing schools tend to have more teacher vacancies and temporary appointments.

  1. The staff data quoted here and in the chart and maps above are based in full-time equivalents rather than headcount. On average, 35% of teaching staff in primary schools and 21% of those in secondary schools work part time. These proportions have increased slightly since 2011, from 33% and 19%, respectively.
  2. All Ofsted ratings used in this analysis are the current ones for each school.
  3. Maps and numbers indicating percentage change in staff numbers exclude schools that had fewer than 7 staff in 2011 because some of these show very high percentage increases. They also exclude schools in Salford, which showed unusually large increases in staff numbers that may indicate inconsistencies in the data.
  4. Maps and numbers indicating percentage change in pupil numbers exclude schools that had fewer than 16 pupils in 2011 because some of these show very high percentage increases.
  5. The pupil increases shown are calculated from school census data gathered in January 2011 and January 2015, so they do not exactly coincide with the School Workforce Census data, which is gathered in November of each year.
  6. The DfE's pupil:teacher ratios are calculated by adding up all the pupils and all the teachers, then dividing the first number by the second. In contrast, we have taken the DfE's ratio for each school and used these to calculate the mean values for all schools. In other words, the DfE's approach is pupil- and teacher-centric while ours is school-centric. As a result, smaller schools have more impact (and larger schools have less impact) on our numbers than on theirs.
  7. Strictly speaking, when we say "non-white" in this analysis we really mean "not white British", so non-British white ethnic groups are included.

 

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