Written evidence submitted Prof. John Howson, Chair TeachVac


The impact of COVID-19 on education and children’s services

Evidence from Cllr. Prof. John Howson, Chair TeachVac and Vice Chairman Oxfordshire County council

Teacher recruitment data

TeachVac is the largest platform in England providing details of teacher vacancies for free to both schools and teachers. As such we have the ability to track on a daily basis how recruitment patterns are altering during the COVID-19 outbreak and, as a result, whether schools will be fully staffed in time for a September re-opening date.  Our data can also show they types and locations of schools facing the greatest challenges.

Initial data about the level of new vacancies from the period 16th-30th March 2020 are included in the chart below.

Source TeachVac daily monitoring report

Teacher preparation courses data on offers

TeachVac also has longitudinal data, presented previously to your Committee for investigations into teacher supply matters, about the rate of offers of places to teacher preparation courses (excluding Teach First). Based upon past trends, applications to train as a teacher by graduates might be expected to increase over the coming months, especially if other employment opportunities reduce. The data from UCAS for March 2020 offers in mathematics is included in the chart below. Charts for other subjects are available and are updated monthly.

Source UCAS monthly data and DfE TSM Model output

Other issues

Independent schools

The future of some private schools, faced with the loss of the summer term fee income; any income from summer holiday activities and some parents unable to continue to afford fees in the autumn, may come under strain.

With around half of such schools in London and the Home Counties, where pressures on pupil places in the secondary sector are already significant, there may be additional pressure on school places this autumn if some private schools were forced to cease trading. As the provision of education is the responsibility of parents, many might turn to the state for the education of their children. Alternatively, many might continue to educate at home and a new form of schooling might emerge making greater use of technology.

School Transport

In rural areas many schools and local authorities rely upon school buses to provide transport. While the majority of services will be provided by large companies, some will be provided by small local firms that may be less able to withstand the financial pressures resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak.


Prof. John Howson


31st March 2020



March 2020

TeachVac is a division of Oxford Teacher Services Ltd