Picture: type tank

Shortage of teachers and school leaders rises in primary education to above 10 thousand

In 2021 there was a national shortage of 9100 FTE teachers in primary education. In addition, a deficit of 1100 has been noted for school leaders. The influx is insufficient to solve this in the short term, according to a labor market analysis. AOb- director Thijs Roovers: “Anyone who reads this report carefully will hold onto their hearts.”

'An urgent and complex problem.' This is what the researchers call the teacher shortage in the analysis. 'Many schools are already struggling to fill vacancies and this is not expected to change in the short term.' Also, according to the Labor Market Platform, where the AOb is difficult to predict how the deficit will develop further and whether it will decrease or increase. This is because the consequences of the corona crisis play a role and additional investments have been made.

The teacher shortage is 9 percent of employment. In the large cities this share is higher at about 14 percent. The shortage of school leaders amounts to 13 percent of employment. Furthermore, schools in the west of the country and schools for special education and schools with a high school weight suffer the greatest shortages.


“More than 10 too few teachers and school leaders, and then we have no figures about shortages for the support staff, but we suspect that this could also be thousands,” says Roovers. “This is a disaster for education and cries out for solutions.” However, there are small improvements to be seen, according to the AOb-driver. “We are slowly moving towards a better salary, we are seeing more young colleagues. But that is not enough."

'This is a disaster for education and cries out for solutions'

Roovers: “We have to pull out all the stops to train new colleagues and retain existing ones. This means that people must be properly guided, get a permanent contract more quickly and serious work must be done on the stress that education causes in too many places. It is the most beautiful profession in the world, the children in this country deserve the best education.”

'We have to pull out all the stops to train new colleagues and retain existing colleagues'

For example, the analysis shows that more younger colleagues have entered: the proportion of over-55s decreased between 2017 and 2021, while more people under 35 were added. 'Until a few years ago there was still talk of an aging population', Zo write the researchers† That has now changed. In the group of educational support staff, the number of young people, '25-year-olds', doubled between 2017 and 2021.

Another plus is that the teaching staff is satisfied with their work: 85 percent indicate this. They like the job security, the type of contract and the content of their work. They are less happy with the salary, the possibilities to work from home and the determination of working hours. However, all teaching staff have received a significant salary increase by closing the pay gap. 

Insufficient intake

The Labor Market Platform predicts that the teacher training influx will not solve the shortages in the short term. The peak in the influx to teacher training that could be seen during the corona crisis will not continue. In 2020, 6845 students decided to start a PABO study, which has fallen to more than 5300 in 2021. The peak from 2020 will not be equaled, but the intake at the PABO does increase compared to the previous years 2017 (4314 students). 2018 (4754 students) and 2019 (5201 students). The intake has increased by 2021 percent in 22 compared to 2017. The researchers mainly see that the part-time variant and the dual study program are on the rise. During the same period, this number increased by 90 percent.

'The regular influx from the teacher training colleges has long ceased to be sufficient and will not be sufficient to meet the demand for the time being'

More and more people are also opting for a career in primary education. 'Year on year it has increased,' the researchers write. 'Out of every six or seven new teachers, there is one lateral entrant into the profession.' The Labor Market Platform is happy with these lateral entrants. 'The regular intake from the teacher training colleges has long ceased to be sufficient and will not be sufficient for the time being to meet the demand for staff in education.'

Together we can achieve more. Join the AOb!

More news