Ruffley tackles Education Secretary as number of Suffolk teachers falls for third consecutive year

Thursday, 28 September, 2006

David Ruffley MP has spoken of his disappointment at revised figures, published today by the Department for Education and Skills, which reveal the number of full-time equivalent regular teachers in Suffolk has fallen for the third consecutive year.

While the teaching population in both the East of England and the Country as a whole has increased in each of the last eight years, Suffolk is one of the few counties where the teaching population is falling.

Between 2004 and 2006 the number of teachers in the East of England has gone up from 47,100 to 48,000 and in England as a whole from 427,700 to 435,600.

In Suffolk the teaching population has fallen from 5,900 in 2004 to 5,710 in 2006.

David has written to Education Secretary, Alan Johnson, demanding to know why, when the teaching population is increasing elsewhere in the Country, Suffolk barely has more teachers than it did four years ago.

David said:

'These new figures make for worrying reading. We are fortunate to have some excellent schools here in Suffolk, however, if the teaching population continues to fall then our hard working education professionals simply aren't going to have the resources they need to do their job.

'The pupil teacher ratio in Suffolk has gone up from 17 to 17.4 in the last year and while this is a small change it now makes Suffolk worse than the national average.

'The people of Suffolk deserve a first rate education system and I am demanding answers from the Education Secretary as to why we in Suffolk, once again, seem to be getting a raw deal from this Government.'