I have a department of 16 to staff. Over the last 5 years it has become increasingly difficult (exponentially so!) to fill vacancies. Talking to colleagues from other schools, it would appear the shortage of Mathematics teachers out there is at a critical level. Has it recently (last 5 years) always been like this (and I have been lucky to have a relatively stable department for a couple of years in the dim and distant past)? I now find myself responding to those agency 'I have an outstanding teacher' emails that pop up each day - why don't people email me if they want a job rather than going through an agency (again - is this now the done way of finding a job)? I am scared for the future of my department - due to a school restructure, they are giving slightly more time to teaching Mathematics (and English). This will be impossible to staff, let alone the pending tens of thousands of 'failing' level 4 students that will have to retake their Mathematics GCSE exam and pressures from SLT to offer more post-16 qualifications (which we have to keep numbers up for to balance the books). I'm scared the only remedy is stupid class sizes - anyone else worried - or am I just in a weird area of the country where one plays 'spot the Mathematics teacher - they are a rarity' (South East).