Teacher shortages leave schools sharing applicants
Schools are having to recruit year round and share job hopefuls amid a "drastic" shortage of teachers, a BBC investigation has found.
Figures compiled by TeachVac show the average English secondary school has advertised for 5.2 posts this year.
But some areas, such as Luton and Milton Keynes, have advertised at more than twice the national average.
The government said teaching "remains a hugely popular profession" with the highest numbers joining since 2008.
But head teachers say the number of new recruits is not keeping up with demand and sometimes there are no applicants for vacancies.
The figures from TeachVac - collated for the first time this year - are based on responses from 3,706 state and independent secondary schools about their vacancy advertisements since the start of 2015.
Of the 19,557 adverts placed, 3,406 were for science teachers, 2,988 were for maths and 2,767 were for English.
With figures from the Office of National Statistics suggesting the school population is likely to grow 10% from 9.4m to 10.4m by 2025, the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) warned pressures on teacher numbers were likely to get worse.
|Teacher recruitment adverts per secondary school|
|Yorkshire and Humber||4.75|
NAHT president Tony Draper said: "The government needs to invest heavily in the recruitment of teachers.
"There's a drastic shortage, it is severe and it is only going to get worse if they don't.
"Teachers are leaving the profession because of workload and stress issues caused by government policies but the biggest issue in this is that they haven't recruited enough teachers in the first place.
"There are too many classes in too many schools that are being taught by teachers without the relevant qualifications.
"If a child is being taught maths GCSE - they need a maths teacher teaching them, not a PE teacher - what is happening in many schools is that they are plugging gaps with teachers who don't have the right qualifications. That's not fair on the children."
A spokeswoman for the Department for Education said: "To help us continue to attract the best graduates into teaching, we are offering a range of bursaries and scholarships for 2016- 17 - worth up to £30,000 tax-free - in the core academic subjects that help children reach their potential.
"But, we know unnecessary workload can detract from what matters most: teaching.
"And we are working with the profession and education experts to take action on the issues teachers said caused the most bureaucracy such as marking and lesson planning."
Ian Tett, head teacher at Oakgrove School in Milton Keynes, said schools in the area were sharing details of unsuccessful - but suitably qualified - applicants to try to fill vacancies.
"We are starting to advertise for next September's positions three or four months earlier than we did a few years ago," said Mr Tett.
"We are having to be much more proactive and grown up in our recruitment."
Andrew Goulding, head teacher at Hinchingbrooke School in Cambridgeshire, said the days of "long-listing and short-listing" applicants had passed.
On occasion, he said, he received no applicants.