Number of people working in schools rises but teacher numbers fall

The number of people working in schools has grown by 17,300 over the past 12 months, but the number of teachers has dropped slightly, official figures have shown.

The figures from the Department for Education and Skills revealed a rise in the total local authority school workforce of 2.4% from 723,100 in 2006 to 740,400 in 2007.

There was a drop of 600 in the number of teachers in schools, although numbers still remain up by 9% on 1997.

There has also been a large increase in the number of support staff (up 6.2% on last year to 305,500), meaning that the total number of teachers, teaching assistants and other support staff has risen by 39% in the past decade.

Schools minister Jim Knight said: “Today’s figures show sustained growth in the school workforce after a decade of investment to raise teacher numbers.

“The priority now is to ensure that these teachers have the support and resources to deliver personalised learning and other key educational reforms, which is why we are pleased to see increases in teaching assistants and support staff.”

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