Nearly one in 100 primary school teacher posts in Northamptonshire are currently unfilled or being covered by a temporary staff member, a study has revealed, amid fears the industry is facing a recruitment crisis.
A joint study by the BBC and local newspaper groups across the country has found that staff shortages are worse in poorer areas.
There were 920 vacancies for full-time permanent teachers in all state-funded schools in England last year, a rate of 0.3 per cent, the figures reveal.
But the study found A further 3,280 full-time posts (0.9%) were being temporarily filled on a contract of less than a year
In Northamptonshire vacancy rates were found to be in line with the national average, with 0.9 per cent of primary school teaching posts either unfilled or being covered by a temporary staff member. At secondary school level that figure was 1.1 per cent.
One school on the outskirts of Northampton had as many as 16 posts remaining to be filled as of November 2016.
Some experts believe the figures are sign of a recruitment "crisis" in some areas of teaching - particularly in deprived parts of the country.
NASUWT general secretary Chris Keates, said: "Teacher vacancy rates are so high as a result of the escalating teacher recruitment and retention crisis which is being fuelled primarily by excessive workload and year-on-year cuts to teachers’ pay.
"This is making the job unsustainable for existing teachers and unattractive for prospective new recruits."
Earlier this year, the House of Commons education select committee published a report into the recruitment and retention of teachers.
Martin Thompson, of the National Association of School-Based Teacher Trainers told the committee: “Recruitment has been a challenge for probably a number of years, and for three years an increasing challenge, and certainly now I think it is a crisis in some areas”.
The study by the BBC Local Partnership analysed data released by the Office for National Statistics in June, before matching it to postcodes with high depravation indexes.
Figures show that Collingtree Church of England School had the highest vacancy rate in Northamptonshire. A total of 16.7 teacher posts were classed as unfilled in 2016.
The Department for Education, on the other hand, says there are now more teachers in our schools than ever before – 15,500 more since 2010.
"The number of new teachers entering our classrooms outnumbers those who retire or leave," said a spokesman.
“We take teacher recruitment very seriously with a significant programme designed to encourage more good graduates to choose teaching as a career.
"This includes investing £1.3bn, including generous tax free bursaries to attract the best graduates into the profession.
“We are also working closely with schools to understand why particular areas of the country face greater challenges in recruiting teachers than other areas.
"We are providing targeted support so that these schools can recruit and retain the teachers they need. In addition, our £72m Opportunity Areas programme will create more opportunities for young people in social mobility ‘coldspots’ across the country.”