The burgeoning number of support staff in schools

The ONS have released yet more interesting numbers today. Figures for Local Authority maintained schools, academies and City Technology Colleges (CTCs) show that the number of full-time equivalent teachers has crept up by just over 1,000 to 442,700 between January 2008 and January 2009. However, the number of teaching assistants has concomitantly risen in the same period by nearly 20,000, to 183,700. There are now three times as many teaching assistants as there were in 1997.

Further, when academies and CTCs are stripped out, the maintained sector actually sees a 2,000 drop in teacher numbers, while there were 6,000 more teaching assistants in January 2009.

With yesterday’s leaked report by Richard Handover (covered in more detail here) suggesting that 40,000 teaching assistant jobs could go to provide value for money in schools, these figures may not be such welcome news for Children, Schools and Families Secretary Ed Balls.

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