England has the eight highest secondary teacher shortages and third-highest in the European region, per findings of latest study.

The latest Teaching and Learning International Survey (Talis) from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) found that 37.6 percent of England’s secondary school leaders reported that teacher shortages was affecting the stature of teaching and learning at educational institutes.

In England’s primary schools, teacher shortage was a less pressing issue, as it had one of the lowest reported rates than other countries polled in the survey. Only 11.6 percent school leaders reported teacher shortages in primary schools as an issue, in comparison to Vietnam where 79.5 percent school leaders reported this as a pressing issue.

In response to whether teacher shortages hindered the schools capacity to deliver instructions to their pupil or not, 41.1 percent of school leaders in Italy and 46.5 percent in Belgium said this was an issue to look for. Other countries with bigger problems than England included Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, Colombia, UAE and Brazil.

In England, 72.9 percent teachers said the need of the hour was to reduce class sizes by recruiting more staff members. They urged the government to make it the ‘number one spending priority’, in comparison to 65 percent of teachers across all OECD countries. Teachers in England also raised concerns over workload, with 66.1 percent reporting that administrative load should be eased by hiring more additional staff, in comparison to 54.6 percent of teachers in other countries.

Findings of the survey found that intimidation levels among teachers were much higher than the average in British schools. Moreover, the workload was a much bigger concern than salaries for teachers in England, with 53.4 teachers stating that teachers’ salaries should be the number one spending priority, as compared to 64.2 percent on average across all countries.

England’s Education Secretary Damian Hinds said: “We know that too many teachers are having to work too many hours each week on unnecessary tasks, which is why I have taken on a battle to reduce teachers’ workload so that they can focus on spending their time in the classroom doing what they do best – teaching.”

The Talis survey polled more than 250,000 school leaders working at 15,000 primary, lower and upper secondary schools from 48 countries.

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