Surveys by teaching unions show that the crisis is as bad as a year ago when 5,000 staff were still needed a week before the new academic years. Then warnings were issued that the worst-hit schools might have to move to a four-day week. This year, the shortage is set to be even worse in London , where rising house prices have forced poorly-paid staff to seek work outside the capital.
Warnings about a potential crisis come just days after headteachers were warned there was no guarantee even the staff they have recruited will have full police clearance by the beginning of the autumn term. There is a 25,000-strong backlog of checks.
According to a little-reported Liberal Democrat survey last month, one in four RE and computer teachers have no qualification in the subject. One in seven maths, English and science lessons are taken by an under-qualified teacher.