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Monday, 18 December, 2000, 13:33 GMT
Rise in teacher numbers
teacher in classroom
More people are choosing to train as teachers
There were 7,400 more teachers in England and Wales this year than two years ago - almost exactly reversing the decline during the 1990s, according to the government.

The latest statistics show that the numbers of teachers in England increased by 6,900 between 1998 and 2000, with 500 more in Wales.

The School Standards Minister, Estelle Morris, said there was still a need to recruit more teachers.

But the rise over the past couple of years had helped the government to reduce class sizes in primary schools and to slow the rise in class sizes in secondary schools, she said.

Other recent figures showed that 2,000 more people were now training to be teachers that in 1999 - the first increase for eight years.

More part-timers

"We have begun to turn around the way people view the teaching profession and make it the profession of choice for more graduates," the minister said.

The trend had reversed what Ms Morris called a cut of 7,500 teachers between 1990 and 1998.

Since Labour came to power the increase has been 8,600 - overcoming a drop of 2,600 in the first year, 1997-98.

The biggest jump was in the past year, when there were 5,900 more teachers.

The total number, excluding part-timers, is put at 380,280.

There has been a continuing steady rise in recent years in the number of part-time posts - from 59,700 (6.5% of the total teaching force) in 1994 to 68,900 (7.6%) in 2000.

The average salary in nursery and primary schools in March 1999 was 21,750 and in secondary schools, 24,160.

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See also:

20 Nov 00 | Education
More teachers but shortages remain
30 Oct 00 | Education
New drive for more teachers
05 Dec 00 | Education
Teacher shortages 'under control'
26 Oct 00 | Education
Tories attack teacher shortages
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