You only need to look at the dramatic rise in class sizes to see through the DfE’s embarrassing propaganda over teacher numbers, says Geoff Barton

A press release from the Department for Education a couple of weeks ago on data from the school workforce census felt like an alternate reality (DfE, 2023).

It giddily proclaimed: “Schools in England now have more teachers than ever before.”

There was the slightest of nods from education secretary Gillian Keegan to acknowledge that all in the garden was not actually rosy. “We know there is more to do,” she said at one point. But, in general, it was a case of: “Crisis? What crisis?”

As a piece of propaganda, it was embarrassing. Even a quick glance at the data, revealed the glaring omission. What the press release did not mention is that there has also been a big increase in students.

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