Schools face teacher shortage crisis, claims Labour

Pupils in England could be taught in bigger classes and by unqualified staff from next September, as a rising population puts pressure on school capacity, Labour has said. This is from the BBC…

Shadow Education Secretary Stephen Twigg said an extra 15,000 teachers would be needed by 2014-15 as an additional 256,000 pupils start school.

Mr Twigg said this was a “real and growing threat to school standards”.

But the Department for Education said his claims were “ridiculous”.

Mr Twigg’s comments come less than two weeks after the National Audit Office warned that a quarter of a million extra school places would be needed in England by autumn 2014.

The spending watchdog said one in five primary schools in England was full or near capacity and there were signs of “real strain” on places.

Labour says its calculations, based on pupil population estimates, show around 14,545 teachers are needed.

When this is added to the 520 vacancies the party says are already in the system, it means that around 15,065 teachers will be required by the next election.

Addressing the ATL’s conference in Liverpool on Wednesday, Mr Twigg is expected to say: “Michael Gove is presiding over a crisis in the teaching profession – with a huge shortage of teachers, and unqualified teachers getting into the classroom.

“Pupils deserve far better. Unless this crisis is addressed head on, pupils will be in bigger class sizes or face being taught by people without teaching qualifications.

“This is a real and growing threat to school standards.

“All the international evidence shows that the quality of teaching makes the biggest difference to results. We cannot let the next generation down by cutting teacher quality.”

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