This story by Martin George in the TES 22nd February 2018

Teacher shortages are making teaching jobs easier to come by with the employment rate for newly trained teachers up by 10 percentage points over a six-year period, study shows

Further evidence about the shortage of trainee teachers across the country has been uncovered by new government research.

The Department for Education document, Analysis of teacher supply, retention and mobility, published today, compares the current number of trainee teachers in each region with estimates of how many are needed, calculated in eight different ways.

These measures include population projections, current teacher numbers and the number of qualified teachers leaving schools.

In six out of nine regions, there are fewer people currently in primary initial teacher training than are needed on at least one of these measures.

In three regions, the number of primary trainees fails to meet the number needed on all eight of the measures: the East Midlands, East of England and South West.

At secondary level, five of the nine regions do not have enough trainees on at least one measure, with the East of England and South East failing to meet the need as estimated on all eight measures.

Government under fire

The publication of the research comes a month after the Commons Public Accounts Committee criticised the government’s approach to the teacher shortage as “sluggish and incoherent”, and it follows alarm at a 29 per cent drop in applications to teacher-training courses.

Today’s report also says ITT graduates do not move far from where they are trained to take up their first job as an NQT.

It says 50.1 per cent travelled 25km (15 miles) or less, and 76.6 per cent travelled 60km (37 miles) or less, and adds that the average distance they travelled for their first job fell between 2010 and 2015.

The research also suggests that the shortages are making it easier for new teachers to find jobs, as it shows that the employment rate of trainees has grown over the past six years.

It says that 85 per cent of the latest cohort of qualified trainees found work as a teacher in a state-funded school, up from about 75 per cent in 2009-10.

Previously the employment rates were higher for postgraduates than undergraduates, although the report says the difference had become “negligible” in the latest three years.

The document also says the employment rate for trainees on school-led routes is typically 5 percentage points higher than for those whose training was based at a university.

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