Number of ex-teachers coming forward to join the school workforce on 20th December 2021, the Department issued a call for ex-teachers to return to the profession as part of the temporary workforce, to help mitigate higher than normal rates of staff absence in schools.

Data on the number of ex-teachers who have come forward since the call was launched was collected via:

• expressions of interests reported to Teach First from the call to arms issued to their alumni, and
• an ad-hoc survey issued on 5th January 2022 to 111 supply agencies (around a quarter of those estimated to be operating in the market). Of these, 47 responded [1].

Given this data only covers a small number of agencies, the figures below do not indicate the total number of teachers coming forward, which will be higher. Although this data collection aims to gauge the impact of the campaign, the number of teachers coming forward cannot be directly attributed to this policy.


• There were at least 585 ex-teachers coming forward to either Teach First, or 47 of the estimated 400-500 teacher supply agencies, between the 20th December 2021 and 7th January 2022.
• Of this total, over 100 expressions of interest have been reported by Teach First.
• A further 485 sign-ups of ex-teachers were reported by the 47 supply agencies who responded to the DfE survey [2].
• Given this survey response only covers a small number of agencies, this will not reflect the true total as other agencies not surveyed, or which did not respond, are likely to also have had sign-ups, and the call for ex-teachers to return is still ongoing. The true number of sign-ups since the call was launched will be larger.
Due to uncertainties in the market share of the agencies who responded, it is not possible to estimate the total number of sign-ups nationally using this data. Individuals can register with multiple agencies and may therefore be ‘double-counted’. Some volunteers may have also approached schools directly, thus would not be captured in this figure.
Published: January 2022
This data is being published as a one-off release.

[1] We estimate this number of responses represents around 10% of the agencies operating in the market. This figure is based on estimates provided by trade bodies. Agencies will vary in size and so this figure should not be taken as an indication of market share.

[2] Supply agencies are under no obligation to report sign-up data to the Department. This means results may not be representative and are subject to self-selection bias. The numbers have been reported as provided by agencies and have not been independently verified. Therefore the results should be treated with caution.

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