Numbers of people employed in teaching and other education jobs continued to grow last year, according to latest figures from the Department for Education (DfE).
Official statistics indicated that there were 442,000 people in teacher jobs in publically funded schools in November 2012, up by 0.9 per cent from the same month in 2011 and also 8.9 per cent higher than the size of the teaching workforce in spring 2000.
The number of full-time employed staff working in publically funded schools has escalated more rapidly of late, rising by 2.6 per cent from November 2011 to 899,000 last November, which was also up by 58.3 per cent on 12 years previously.
Demand for individuals to fill teaching assistant (TA) jobs has risen particularly quickly, with the size of this workforce rising by 5.7 per cent to 232,300 over the year to November 2012, which was almost four times the number employed back in spring 2000.
A DfE spokesperson commented: "It is extremely encouraging to see there are more teachers joining - or in some cases deciding to re-join, what is a high-status, attractive profession.
"Increasingly, the teaching workforce is highly skilled - with 96 per cent of teachers now qualified to degree level or above."
The department's figures also provided detailed evidence of the make-up of the current teaching workforce, with females accounting for 73.3 per cent of full and part-time regular teachers in publically funded schools in November 2012, rising to 92 per cent of all people in TA jobs.
Furthermore, 23.6 per cent of all full and part-time regular teachers were aged under 30, 55.2 per cent aged between 30 and 49 and 21.2 per cent aged 50 and over.
In terms of ethnicity, 88.4 per cent of full and part-time teachers were classified as white British, while 3.3 per cent were listed as coming from other white backgrounds, 1.6 per cent as having white Irish backgrounds and 1.3 per cent as having Indian backgrounds.
Meanwhile, the number of teachers employed in local authority maintained schools fell by 10.6 per cent from November 2011 to 320,800 in November 2012, while the number working in academies rose by 52.8 per cent to 121,200 over the same period.
This reflected the large volume of schools leaving local authority control during this period, with 2,551 schools holding academy status in November 2012, compared to 1,449 a year previously.
Posted by Harriet McGowan