NEW research has highlighted continuing concerns over teacher staffing – said to be reaching "crisis point" in some areas.

BBC analysis of Government data collected from schools as a snapshot in November last year showed the vacancy rate in schools in the 20 per cent most deprived areas in the country was more than twice as high as schools in the least deprived.

The figures showed that Middlesbrough had the highest vacancy rate for full-time posts in primary schools, 1.1 per cent, or five in real terms, although its secondary schools had no full-time vacancies at all.

Sunderland and Redcar councils also placed in the top 20 in terms of English local authorities with vacancy rates for full-time jobs in primary schools standing at 0.7 per cent (eight) and 0.6 per cent (three) respectively.

North Yorkshire was identified as one of 20 local authorities which saw the biggest percentage increases in full-time vacancies in primary and secondary schools between 2014 and 2016.

But the actual figures were relatively small for a county of its size, going from zero in 2014 to ten last year.

A spokesman for the council said: “Teacher vacancies in North Yorkshire are relatively few compared to nationally.

“Where there have been specific recruitment issues in more remote areas and on the coast and in national shortage subjects like maths and science, the county council has been working with schools over the last two years to create bespoke recruitment packages and such initiatives are proving successful.”

Durham County Council had three full-time vacancies in its secondary schools in November 2016, along with 19 that had been temporarily filled.

There were 920 vacancies for full-time permanent teachers in state-funded schools in England last year, a rate of 0.3 per cent.

The rate has remained below one per cent since 2000.

A further 3,280 full time posts (0.9 per cent) were being temporarily filled on a contract of at least one term, but less than a year.

Pupil numbers are predicted to increase, particularly in secondary schools over the next several years, putting adding pressure on the system,

Earlier this year Martin Thompson, of the National Association of School-Based Teacher Trainers told MPs on the House of Commons Education Selection 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.”

According to a report by the committee, geography, biology and history were the only secondary school subjects that exceeded their recruitment targets.

But computing had less than 70 per cent recruitment against targets, while chemistry, English, maths and physics were also below their targets.

Chris Keates from the teachers’ union, NASUWT, 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.

“The overriding problem lies with the Government’s teacher supply model, which has failed to provide the number of teachers the system needs, with fewer and fewer graduates choosing teaching as a career.”

A Government spokesman said there were now more teachers in schools than ever before, 15,500 more since 2010, and the number of new teachers entering classrooms outnumbered those who retire or leave.

He said: “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.”