Reporting year 2022

School workforce in England

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See all updates (7) for Reporting year 2022
  1. Updated table builder to display full range of data in educational psychologists data file

  2. Corrected dates in text within support staff section.

  3. School level file added for workforce summary.

  4. Included new paragraph on Educational Psychologists in "The size of the school workforce" section, using already published data.

  5. Updated educational psychologists data file to correct part time headcount figures.

  6. School level files added for teacher and support staff characteristics, teacher pay, and workforce summary. Correction made to metadata for "the size of the school workforce" data, so that all fields are referenced. Correction made to entrants and leavers files to label "state-funded primary schools" as "state-funded nursery and primary schools".

  7. Update made to data files available for download.

Release type


This release is largely based on the School Workforce Census. The census, which runs each November, collects information from schools and local authorities on the school workforce in state-funded schools in England.

Independent schools, non-maintained special schools, sixth-form colleges and further education establishments are not included.

This release includes information on teaching and support staff, their characteristics, teacher retention and pay, qualifications and details of the subjects taught in secondary schools.

We present some breakdowns of this data in the text below, and more detail is available via the table tool or downloading the data files.

Headline facts and figures - 2022

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Additional supporting files

All supporting files from this release are listed for individual download below:

The size of the school workforce

Within this section we primarily discuss full-time equivalent (FTE) as opposed to headcounts. FTE best reflects the varied working patterns that the workforce may have.

As at November 2022 (2022/23), 973,900  FTE people were working in state-funded schools in England. Of these, nearly half (48%) were teachers.


Teacher FTE continues to increase to 468,400. This is an increase of 2,800 (<1%) from last year, and an increase of 27,000 (6%) since 2010/11. 

Headcount of teachers also increased; by 1,900 to 513,900 in the latest year. This year sees the largest FTE and headcount numbers of teachers since the school workforce census began in 2010/11.

Most teachers held qualified teacher status (97%), the same as previous years. Teachers may be undertaking further qualifications during their employment to gain qualified teacher status.

The type of school in which teachers worked was split evenly between nurseries/primary and secondary schools; 47% (221,300) of teachers worked in nurseries and primary schools, 46% (216,000) in secondary schools, 6% (27,100) in special or PRU schools. Less than 1% (3,900) were centrally employed by a local authority.

Further information on numbers of teachers in the UK, including non-maintained schools in England, can be found in the Education and Training Statistics for the UK national statistic.

Support staff

Support staff includes teaching assistants, administrative staff, auxiliary staff, technicians and other supporting staff roles. Information on support staff was collected in the school workforce census for the first time in November 2011.

The number of FTE school support staff  has continued to increase, to 505,500. This is an increase of 2,900 (<1%). This increase is mainly due to an increase of 5,300 teaching assistants, and offsets decreases in the number of technicians and auxiliary staff.

Occasional teachers

The school workforce census does not identify supply teachers, however teachers in schools on census day (early November each year) with a contract or service agreement lasting less than 28 days are recorded as “occasional” teachers. The headcount of these occasional teachers, by school and Qualified Teacher Status, is available in the data catalogue.

In November 2022, schools reported 16,657 occasional teachers on census day.

Educational Psychologists

The school workforce census asks local authorities to report the number of educational psychologists they employ. This does not include where the service has been outsourced or shared between local authorities. For information on the data collection and limitations, please see this publication’s methodology. The headcount and FTE of these educational psychologists, by local authority, is available in the data catalogue.

In November 2022, local authorities reported employing 2,325 educational psychologists (1,939 FTE) on census day.

Teacher characteristics

This section presents key teacher characteristics. Further breakdowns of teacher characteristics (such as by grade, school phase, qualified teacher status and working pattern) are available to download from the data catalogue, or you can create your own tables in our table tool via the green “explore data” buttons.

We discuss headcount in this section, rather than FTE. This is so that we can consider the characteristics of the workforce without differences in working pattern influencing the figures.


Gender makeup of the teaching workforce is consistent over time, and is predominantly female; 76% in 2022/23. 

Male teachers are more likely to work in secondary schools than nurseries and primary schools: 14% of nursery and primary school teachers are male, 35% of secondary school teachers and 25% of special schools and PRU teachers.

Female teachers are less likely than their male counterparts to be in leadership positions (head teachers, deputy heads, assistant heads), however this difference is reducing over time. In 2022/23, 69% of leadership teachers were female, up from 66% in 2010/11. This compares to 77% of classroom teachers in 2022/23 and 76% in 2010/11. For a deeper analysis of teacher gender in leadership positions see School leadership in England 2010 to 2020: characteristics and trends.


The ethnic diversity of the teacher workforce continues to increase, with 15.6% of teachers identifying as belonging to an ethnic minority group, up from 11.2% in 2010/11. Within these percentages, white minorities accounted for 5.3% of teachers, 

The proportion of teachers who identify as Asian or Asian British has increased by two percentage points since 2010/11, to 5.3% of the workforce. Over the same period, Black or Black British has increased by half a percentage point to 2.5% and Any Other Mixed Background by one percentage point to 1.7%.

In the 2021 Census, 10.1% of the working age population were Asian or Asian British, 8.8% white minority groups, and 4.4% Black or Black British.

Teachers identifying in an ethnic minority group are not equally represented at leadership positions (heads, deputy heads, assistant heads). In 2022/23, 15.5% of White British, 11.1% of White Minorities, 9.7% of Black or Black British and 8.3% of Asian or Asian British teachers were in leadership positions. This has changed over time; in 2010/11, 13.9% of White British, 8.0% of White Minorities, 8.1% of Black or Black British and 6.5% of Asian or Asian British teachers were in leadership positions. For a deeper analysis of ethnicity in teacher leadership positions see School leadership in England 2010 to 2020: characteristics and trends.


The age of the teacher workforce aligns with trends in newly qualified entrants to teaching and changes in retirement policy. Broadly speaking, this was demonstrated by the workforce getting younger between 2010/11 and 2017/18. Since then, older age groups have increased in proportion.

For a deeper analysis of teacher age and experience see School leadership in England 2010 to 2020: characteristics and trends.

Support staff characteristics

This section presents key support staff characteristics. Further breakdowns of staff characteristics (such as by post, school phase and working pattern) are available to download from the data catalogue, or you can create your own tables in our table tool via the green “explore data” buttons.

We discuss headcount in this section, rather than FTE. This is so that we can consider the characteristics of the workforce without differences in working pattern influencing the figures.

Support staff post

The full-time equivalent (FTE) of support staff has increased for the past three years, following year-on-year decreases in 2016/17 to 2019/20. 

The number of teaching assistants has increased almost every year since 2011/12, from 221,500 to 281,100 (27%). The numbers of teaching assistants and other school support staff are now the highest since the inclusion of support staff in the school workforce census in 2011/12.

Technicians and auxiliary staff have decreased each year since 2014/15 and 2016/17, respectively. 

More support staff work part-time than is the case for teachers, this results in very different numbers for FTE and headcount. Approximately 5 in 10 technicians, 6 in 10 administrative staff and other school support staff, 8 in 10 teaching assistants, and 9 in 10 auxiliary staff work part time.

Two thirds (66%) of teaching assistants work in primary schools, and 16% work in special schools and pupil referral units. The majority of technicians work in secondary schools, 92%. 


School support staff are predominantly female, however there are differences by post. 93% of teaching assistants are female, 90% of administrative and other support staff, and 86% of auxiliary staff. Technicians are more evenly split on gender (53% female).


The ethnic diversity of the support staff workforce continues to increase. 

Auxiliary staff were the most diverse, with 8.3% identifying as Asian or Asian British, 4.6% as white minority and 3.2% as Black or Black British.

In the 2021 Census, 10.1% of the working age population were Asian or Asian British, 8.8%  white minority groups and 4.4% Black or Black British.

Teaching assistants - the largest support staff group - are shown in the chart below to demonstrate increasing ethnic diversity.


The proportion of support staff aged 40-49 has decreased over time, from 38% in 2010/11 to 27% in 2022/23. Over the same period, the 30-30, 50-59 and 60+ age groups have increased and the youngest age groups of under 25 and 25-29 have remained stable. 

Teaching assistants - the largest support staff group - have seen an increase in the 60+ age group and are shown in the chart below to demonstrate age changes in the workforce.

Pupil to teacher ratios (PTR)

Pupil to teacher ratios (PTRs) are the number of pupils reported in the January School Census divided by the number of teachers reported in the November School Workforce Census. This demonstrates the size of the workforce in relation to the size of the learner population. A decrease in PTR means that there are fewer pupils per teacher. 

The Schools, pupils and their characteristics publication provides class size which is an average of class size as reported by individual schools. This best demonstrates the reality of teaching provision in schools.

There were 20.7 pupils for every one nursery and primary school teacher in 2022/23. This is up slightly from last year, but still lower than the highest PTR seen in 2017/18 to 2019/20 (20.9 pupils per teacher). The nursery and primary school pupil population peaked in 2019 and is projected to further decrease throughout the projection period (to 2030). 

There were 16.8 pupils for every one secondary school teacher in 2022/23. This is up slightly from last year, continuing an upwards trend since 2013/14. The secondary school pupil population began rising in 2016 and is projected to peak in 2024 followed by a gradual drop. The increase in pupils has been partially offset by an increase in teachers.

Entrants, leavers and changes in working pattern

The rates and numbers of entrants and leavers to the state-funded teaching profession in England have increased in the past two years, following two years of decreases which were believed to be due to the COVID-19 pandemic period impacting career plans for some people. The latest year (entrants new to the 2022/23 year and leavers during the 2021/22 year) show rates return to pre-pandemic levels.

Each year, the number of teachers entering state-funded schools in England is higher than those leaving. In the most recent year there were almost 4,000 FTE more entrants than leavers. This, coupled with existing staff overall reducing their working pattern, means that the overall FTE of teachers has increased by over 2,800 FTE.

Further breakdowns of this information, including by age, ethnicity, gender, teaching post, type of entrant/leaver, school type and working pattern are available to download from the data catalogue, or you can create your own tables in our table tool via the green “explore data” buttons.


48,000 teachers joined the state-funded school sector for 2022/23, up by 4,000 since last year. This represents 1 in 10 (10.5%) of all qualified teachers; the highest rate and number since 2018/19.

Newly qualified teachers make up a smaller proportion of entrants this year (45% versus 50% last year) as they have decreased in number, whereas all other entrant types have increased. This is believed to be a result of career plan changes during the COVID-19 pandemic period in recent prior years.

Entrants have increased in both primary and secondary school phases, however the trends in entrant types differ. In primary schools there has been an increase in the number of newly qualified entrants, following decreases since 2015/16. In secondary schools, however, newly qualified entrants have decreased, following a peak last year. This decrease corresponds with Initial Teacher Training (ITT) recruitment decreases in secondary subjects.


44,000 teachers left the state-funded sector in 2021/22, up by 7,800 since last year. This represents 1 in 10 (9.7%) of all qualified teachers; the highest rate since 2017/18. This follows two years of lower than average leaver rates during the years most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic

The majority (91%) left due to leaving the state-funded sector in England, for example due to a change of career or joining other UK education sectors. The rate of teachers leaving due to retirement continues to decrease.

Teacher retirements in this section of the release relate to teachers who have received a pension award at or before the date they leave service, i.e. they have left service to move directly into retirement. Further information on pension awards made under the Teachers' Pensions Scheme can be found in a later section of this release.

Changes to working pattern

The number of teachers who enter and leave the profession are not the only factors that impact FTE qualified teacher numbers over time; changes in the numbers of hours worked (working pattern) also has an impact.

In 2022/23, 4.9% of qualified teachers increased their working hours and 5.5% decreased their working hours. These changes in working pattern produced a decrease equivalent to 1,715 FTE qualified teachers since last year. Last year, in 2021/22, these percentages were 4.2% and 5.2% respectively, equating to a decrease of 2,175 FTE.

Teacher retention

The latest retention rates for teachers who have qualified since 2010 have decreased compared to the equivalent measure last year. However, retention is still higher than pre-pandemic levels.

Last year, retention increased which was believed to be as a continued result of the COVID-19 pandemic changing career plans for some individuals. The pandemic period affects figures relating to the previous two years of data. For instance, those who qualified in 2018 or 2019 and were still in service 2 years later (in service period relates to 2020 and 2021, respectively).

  • Almost 9 in 10 (87.2%) teachers who qualified in 2021 are still teaching one year after qualification,
  • Almost 8 in 10 (76.1%) teachers who qualified three years ago are still teaching, 
  • Almost 7 in 10 (68.7%) teachers who qualified five years ago are still teaching, 
  • Almost 6 in 10 (58.7%) teachers who qualified ten years ago are still teaching.

Teacher vacancies

Teacher vacancies (full and part time) have doubled in the past two years; from 1,100 in November 2020 to 2,300 in November 2022. The rate - which takes into account the fact that the workforce has also increased in this period - has also increased, from 2 per 1,000 teachers in service to 5 per 1,000. Meaning that the number of vacancies was only partially offset by the increasing number of teachers in the school workforce.

The number of temporary filled classroom teacher posts also increased; from 1,800 in November 2020 to 3,000 in November 2022. This is a rate of 8 posts per 1,000 teachers. In the same period, temporary filled leadership posts decreased from 340 to 280, a rate of 4 per 1,000 leadership teachers. This is lower than the peak in November 2016.

Further breakdowns of this information, including by school, grade and subject taught (for classroom teachers in secondary schools) are available to download from the data catalogue, or you can create your own tables in our table tool via the green “explore data” buttons.

Teacher pay

Each year, the year-on-year comparisons of teacher pay will not directly reflect annual pay awards for a number of reasons.

While the annual uplifts to pay ranges in the School Teachers Pay and Conditions Document (STPCD) for the present academic year are proposed and agreed at a national level, it is for schools to determine pay for teachers on an individual level, with these decisions incorporating schools’ pay flexibilities to deviate from the national framework, as well as teachers’ performance reviews. Such individual decisions may not have been made for all teachers by the point at which the census occurs. Therefore, some schools report data reflecting the latest pay review, but some report that of the previous academic year (without the outcome of the latest pay review applied). This is likely to be more common this year, given that the consultation process and publication of the STPCD concluded 13th October.  This was later than in previous years and two weeks before the Census date, which may have delayed pay decisions more than in other years. For further information about the process by which the pay award is agreed and how this relates to the School Workforce Census collection, please see the methodology. 

In addition, each year there are workforce changes which mean comparisons between years are not comparing like-for-like. For example, each year teachers retire and are replaced by newly qualified teachers. These more experienced teachers, many of whom will have been in leadership roles, will have been on higher salaries than those who are new to teaching. 

Note that salaries are not adjusted for inflation over time. 

The average (median) teacher FTE salary reported in November 2022, by grade: 

  • Classroom teacher average salary was £40,300.
  • Other leadership teacher (excluding headteachers) average salary was £56,800.
  • Head teacher average salary was £70,800.

For further information on school and LA expenditure, including spend on teaching, please see the latest expenditure publication.

Average salaries vary by teacher grade, school phase and school type. For example, for classroom teachers the average (median) salary were:

  • In nursery and primary schools, £38,810.
  • In secondary schools, £41,850.
  • In special schools and PRUs, £40,700.

Salaries were higher on average in LA maintained schools than academies

There are gender differences in the grades held by teachers; female teachers are less likely than their male counterparts to be in leadership positions. Therefore this analysis considers the teacher grade when comparing gender differences in average pay.

In nursery and primary schools, female classroom teacher salaries have consistently been higher than male classroom teacher salaries, while within other leadership grades, pay is similar.

Male teacher salaries are otherwise higher than female teacher salaries; secondary classroom teachers, secondary leadership (excluding headteachers) and headteachers in nursery and primary, secondary and special or PRU schools.

Teacher qualifications

Of the 513,900 teachers (headcount) in service in 2022/23, 97% (494,200) were qualified to the level of degree, Bachelor of Education, PGCE or higher.

Level 4 and above (post-A level equivalent) qualification data was available for 511,900 teachers.

Subjects taught and specialist teachers in secondary schools

Timetabling information collected on the curriculum delivered is provided by a large sample of secondary schools. They are asked to provide information on a typical week in their school.  This is weighted to produce national level figures. Where teachers have both timetabling information and qualifications data these can be combined to show whether teachers have relevant post-A level qualifications in the subjects they are teaching. For further details, please see the methodology section. 

3 in 5 secondary school teaching hours (64%) were for English Baccalaureate (EBacc) subjects of mathematics, English, all science subjects (including computing), modern foreign languages, history and geography. This is the same proportion as in 2021.

Almost 9 in 10 (87%) of hours taught in EBacc subjects were taught by a teacher with a relevant post-A level qualification. This varies by individual EBacc subject but in each case, the majority of hours taught are by a teacher with a relevant qualification.

Over two thirds (70%) of secondary school teachers taught at least one EBacc subject.

Teacher sickness absence

In the 2021/22 academic year, 67.5% of teachers took sickness absence, with an average of 9.3 days of sickness for each of these teachers. These figures relate to sickness absence only and do not include non-attendance due to, for example, isolation and shielding due to COVID-19, or for reasons such as maternity leave and career breaks.

The Office for National Statistics have published statistics on sickness absence in the UK which show that there has been an increase in sickness absence since 2020, and the highest levels of sickness absence are in female workers, plus those in caring, leisure and service occupations. Whilst not directly comparable due to differences in methodology, this broadly aligns with what we see reported in the school workforce census.

Teachers' Pensions Scheme

In addition to identifying teachers who left service due to retirement, it is possible to identify teachers and ex-teachers who started to receive pension benefits from the Teachers’ Pensions Scheme (TPS). These benefits may be awarded some time after the teacher has left service, may be awarded during service, and information includes pensions from outside of the state-funded school sector, such as further and higher education establishments who are members of the TPS. Therefore, these figures differ to figures presented of leavers due to retirement.

The number of people starting to receive teacher pensions under the TPS each year is higher than the number of teachers retiring from service (for reasons explained above), yet trends remain the same. In the financial year 2011-12, 21,600 teachers received their first award of pension benefits, this has decreased each year to 7,320 in 2022-23.

This change coincides with a period of rising state pension age, particularly for women (76% of teachers are women). In 2010 the state pension age for women began increasing from 60 until it equalised with men at 65 in 2018. It then increased to 66 in 2020 and will increase to 67 in 2027.

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