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These are experimental statistics as the data in this report relates to information collected in the first School Workforce Annual Census (SWAC) for Wales as at November 2019. The report does not relate to the period of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

This release, accompanying StatsWales tables and dashboard include more detailed information on the school workforce in Wales, including data broken down by local authority, sector and other characteristics.

1. Teachers

Information relating to teachers in schools (for example, headcount split by sex and age) have been based on information submitted by schools in the SWAC school return.

There were 26,882 teachers in local authority maintained settings in Wales at November 2019. The number of primary school teachers was 13,328, with 11,171 in secondary school. Of the total number of teachers, 25,492 were qualified teachers, including 12,667 in primary schools and 10,562 in secondary schools.

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 Includes sex breakdown of teachers for classroom teachers, teachers in leadership roles and other teachers, as well as all teachers.

Teachers (headcount) by staff category and age range on StatsWales

  • Of all teachers in maintained local authority settings, 75.2% were female. 
  • The split of teachers by sex varied across sector with 83.3% of all teachers in primary schools being female, compared to 66.4% in secondary schools.
  • In contrast, females accounted for 66.0% of headteachers (including executive heads and acting heads) in primary schools and 37.2% in secondary schools.
  • Overall, the highest proportion of teachers were aged between 30 and 39 (32.7%). This is consistent for all school sectors apart from pupil referral units (PRU) where the highest proportion of teachers were aged 40 to 49 (38.7%).
  • Teachers aged under 25 accounted for 3.7% of all teachers, and ranged from 2.0% in special schools to 4.9% in middle schools.
  • Teachers identifying as White-British accounted for 95.2% of all teachers in maintained local authority settings in Wales.
  • Of the total number of teachers 0.6% declared having a physical or mental health condition or illness lasting or expected to last 12 months or more.

2. Welsh language: teachers

  • Of all teachers in local authority maintained settings, 30.5% reported their Welsh language ability as ‘Advanced’ or ‘Proficient’.
  • The proportion of teachers who reported their Welsh language ability as ‘Advanced’ or ‘Proficient’ varied by sector, ranging from 11.1% in PRU’s to 50.4% in middle schools. This reflects the higher proportion of middle schools that are categorised as Welsh medium or bilingual schools. The proportion in primary and secondary schools were 32.3% and 28.0% respectively.
  • The proportion of teachers who reported their Welsh language ability as ‘Advanced’ or ‘Proficient’ but were not working through the medium of Welsh was 15.4% (12.6% in primary schools and 19.2% in secondary schools).

3. Teachers’ pay

Information relating to pay (including average salary and distribution across pay ranges) are based on information submitted in the SWAC pay, HR and absences return. Records from this return were linked to the SWAC school return to provide a breakdown by school sector (i.e. primary, secondary etc). Where no corresponding record was identified in the SWAC school return their sector has been recorded as ‘Other’. For this reason, total numbers for data on teachers’ pay will not equal the totals for data on teacher characteristics above (see the ‘School Workforce Annual Census: background information’ report for further details).

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Includes breakdown of teachers for classroom teachers, headteachers (including executive headteachers, all leadership posts and all teachers.  All leadership posts include headteachers.

Average (mean) full-time equivalent teacher salary by local authority and post on StatsWales

  • Of all teachers in maintained local authority settings, 24.9% were on the main pay range and 59.6% on the upper pay range. Those on the leadership pay range were 13.9%.
  • The average (mean) full-time equivalent (FTE) salary for all teachers in local authority maintained settings was £40,114.
  • Classroom teachers across all sectors received an average FTE salary of £37,135. The mean FTE salary varied within sectors with primary school classroom teachers receiving an average salary of £36,813 compared to £37,446 for secondary school classroom teachers.
  • Headteachers (including executive headteachers) received an average salary of £65,876 compared to £58,400 for all teachers in leadership posts.
  • The average FTE salary for headteachers in primary schools was £61,528 compared to £89,331 for headteachers in secondary schools.

4. Support staff

Information relating to support staff in schools (for example, headcount, split by sex and age) have been based on information submitted by schools in the SWAC school return.

  • There were 29,756 support staff in local authority maintained school settings in Wales at November 2019, of which there were 16,157 teaching assistants.
  • The highest number of support staff worked in primary school with 18,725 including 12,119 teaching assistants. There were 7,036 support staff in secondary school, including 2,178 teaching assistants.
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Includes sex breakdown of support staff in nursery, primary, middle, secondary and special schools as well as pupil referral units.

Support Staff (headcount) by staff category and age range on StatsWales

  • Of all support staff in maintained local authority settings in Wales, 90.7% were female. The proportion of support staff which was female ranged from 78.3% in PRU’s to 98.7% in nursery schools. Females accounted for 95.8% of support staff in primary schools and 79.9% in secondary schools.
  • The highest proportion of support staff in all local authority settings in Wales were aged between 50 and 59 (28.4%).
  • This is varied across school phases. The highest proportion of support staff was aged 30 to 39 in PRU’s (28.3%), aged 40 to 49 in primary schools (29.6%) and middle schools (27.1%) and aged 50 to 59 in nursery schools (29.3%), secondary school (31.2%) and special schools (24.9%).
  • Support staff identifying as White-British accounted for 93.7% of all support staff in maintained local authority settings in Wales.
  • Of the total number of support staff 1.1% declared having a physical or mental health condition or illness lasting or expected to last 12 months or more.

5. Welsh language: support staff

  • Of all support staff in local authority maintained settings, 17.2% reported their Welsh language ability as ‘Advanced’ or ‘Proficient’.
  • The proportion of support staff who reported their Welsh language ability as ‘Advanced’ or ‘Proficient’ varied by sector, from 8.7% in special schools to 31.2% in middle schools. The proportion in primary and secondary schools were 18.3% and 15.8% respectively.

6. Teachers and teaching assistants shielding during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

Information from SWAC has also been used to undertake initial analysis to provide an estimate of the number of teachers and teaching assistants working in schools that are included in the shielded population list. For this analysis workforce information from the local authority and school SWAC returns was linked to the shielded patient list using first name, last name and date of birth as the linking fields. This work was undertaken to address urgent operational needs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • 459 teachers working in schools in Wales are on the shielded patient list. This represents 1.6% of all teachers in Wales
  • 574 teaching assistants working in schools in Wales are on the shielded patient list. This represents 2.3% of teaching assistants in Wales.

The figures for the analysis above include teachers and teaching assistants who were employed in a school on census date, as well those employed centrally by local authorities. Therefore, care should be taken when comparing the figures presented against the total headcount staff figures due to differences in methodology used.

The ‘Shielding teachers and teaching assistants during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic’ report provides further information on this analysis.

7. Quality and methodology information

The statistics in this headline are based on information collected in the first SWAC collection and as such are published as ‘experimental statistics’. The information collected for 2019 has not undergone a formal final validation process. However, various stages of automated validation and sense-checking are built into the process to ensure a high quality of data to inform policy making.

Our ‘School Workforce Annual Census: background information’ report provides further detail of key quality and methodology information.

8. Contact details

Statistician: Gareth Thomas
Telephone: 0300 025 5968
Email: educationworkforcedata@gov.wales

Media: 0300 025 8099

SFR 121/2020

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