Our strategy team examines recent trends in the use of supply teachers and recruitment agencies.

The agency landscape for supply teachers is highly fragmented, consisting of a few large generalists, around 10 education specialists and a long tail of local players. There has been M&A activity in the past few years, but changes in the education sector indicate that this market will continue to consolidate.

In recent years, the use of recruitment agencies for supply teachers has been increasing, with the supply teacher market now estimated to be worth £1.3bn. This is driven by the shortage of teachers in England, the increased devolution of decision-making to schools – through the creation of academies – and a growing pupil population, particularly in secondary schools.  The requirement for teachers now includes not only STEM subjects, but also other secondary subject teachers and primary generalists.

This shortage is expected to increase over the next few years as pupil numbers keep growing, teacher-training targets are not met and teachers continue to leave the profession. The shortage will be accentuated by regional and subject supply imbalances.

To meet this demand, many agencies are sourcing international candidates from countries with teacher surpluses to fill long-term supply positions.

Our recent study assesses the market trends impacting teacher supply, the impact of Brexit, supply agency use, the agency competitive landscape and schools’ key purchase criteria. It also draws insight from a survey of 156 schools and 226 supply teachers, as well as interviews with industry experts.

For more information regarding the evolving landscape around supply teachers and recruitment agencies, download our 16-page report on ‘Emerging trends in education: The role of supply teachers and recruitment agencies’ or contact Andrew Hawkins.

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