OXFORD West and Abingdon MP Layla Moran has claimed the country is facing a crisis retaining teachers because of pressure from Ofsted.

Ms Moran, a former physics teacher, said there is a ‘culture of fear’ in schools over Ofsted inspections.

Speaking during education questions in the House of Commons, she said: “We face a teacher retention crisis in this country.

“One head in Oxford recently described to me after a devastating Ofsted inspection that she and her staff felt criminalised.

“What is the minister doing to change the ‘culture of fear’ caused by inspections?”

Last summer the National Audit Office said more teachers leave before their retirement age than five years ago and that schools across the country were finding it more difficult to find vacancies.

Nearly 35,000 teachers – eight per cent – left for reasons other than retirement in 2016, the NAO said.

Education Minister Nick Gibb told MPs that the Government had already taken steps to reduce workload around inspections.

He said: “The workload challenge identified a range of drivers of high workload including accountability and perceived pressures of Ofsted.

“We took steps to address this in our 2017 action plan, including Ofsted’s commitment to reducing unnecessary workload around inspections by dispelling myths about inspection and by training inspectors and monitoring inspection reports.”

Schools are inspected by Ofsted about once every four years.