Class inequality widens in academies that are more likely to recruit unqualified teachers, study suggests.

The study, published in the British Journal of Sociology Education, finds that academies in more business-style structures, such as those that are sponsored or in chains, have seen the greatest increase.

Chris Keates, acting general secretary of the NASUWT teachers’ union, said: “It is unacceptable that children and young people are being denied their fundamental entitlement to be taught by qualified teachers. It is also unacceptable for other staff to be exploited by schools that require them to do the job of a qualified teacher while being paid less.”

Nick Brook, deputy general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT, said “We already know that recruiting and retaining teachers in schools serving disadvantaged communities is challenging, so the rise of unqualified teachers in these schools is concerning. It is children from disadvantaged backgrounds who are most in need of the very best teachers.”