Question to the Department for Education:
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps her Department is taking to help increase the number food technology teachers.
The latest School Workforce Census showed that during November 2022, there were over 468,000 full time equivalent (FTE) teachers in state-funded schools in England, which is an increase of 27,000 (6%) since 2010. This makes it the highest number of FTE teachers on record since the School Workforce Census began in 2010.
The department’s teacher recruitment and retention reforms are aimed at supporting teacher recruitment and retention across all subjects, including food technology. The department accepted in full the School Teachers’ Review Body’s recommendations for the 2023/24 pay award for teachers and leaders. This means that teachers and leaders in maintained schools will receive a pay award of 6.5%. This is the highest pay award for teachers in over thirty years. The award also delivers the manifesto commitment of a minimum £30,000 starting salary for school teachers in all regions in England, with a pay award of up to 7.1% for new teachers outside London.
The department knows there is further to go to improve recruitment in some subjects. That is why the department has put in place a range of measures, including bursaries. For those starting Initial Teacher Training (ITT) in the 2024/25 academic year, £25,000 tax-free bursaries are being offered in design & technology, which includes food technology. Over the past two years, the design and technology bursary has increased from £15,000 to £25,000.
The department has created an entitlement to at least three years of structured training, support and professional development for all new teachers, underpinned by the ITT Core Content Framework and the Early Career Framework. Together, these ensure that new teachers will benefit from at least three years of evidence-based training, across ITT and into their induction, to ensure teachers are better supported at the start of career.
The department has published a range of resources to help address teacher workload and wellbeing, which impact retention. This includes the school workload reduction toolkit, developed alongside school leaders, which is a helpful resource for schools to review and reduce workload. The toolkit is available at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/school-workload-reduction-toolkit.
The department has also worked in partnership with the education sector and mental health experts to create the Education Staff Wellbeing Charter, which we are encouraging schools to sign up to as a shared commitment to promote staff wellbeing. The charter is available at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/education-staff-wellbeing-charter.