John Howson

Last week, UCAS published the July data regarding applications to postgraduate teacher preparation courses. There was a flurry of interest in the data, including a press release from the Education Policy Institute (EPI), the leading education think-tank. In a later post I will consider some of the points raised by EPI. At this point it is merely worth noting that this blog pointed out the increase in applications some months ago.

So how large has the increase actually been since the pandemic transformed the labour market in England? Back in March 2020, the number of applicants for these courses in England was running at the same level as in 2019, across both primary and secondary courses.

By  May, there were 4% more applicants (1,240); by June 8% (2,520) and by the July figures some 15% more than in July 2019 (5,560) at a total of 41,770 applicants for both primary and secondary courses, compared with 36,210 in July 2019. Whether the increase might have been greater had more courses still been accepting applications is an unknown question.

Nationally, applicant numbers increased by 26%, by this July compared with July 219, although the increase in the North East was just 21%, whereas, in London, applicant numbers this July were 35% above the 2019 number.

The percentage of applicants recorded as being in the three categories of ‘Placed’ ‘Conditionally Placed ‘or ‘Holding Offer’ varied from 86% of the 4,270 women applicants in the 21 and under age groping to 52% of men in the 40 and over age group. Overall, 68% of men were in the three groups compared with 77% of women applicants.  Both men and women, the percentage in the ‘Placed’ and ‘Offer groups declined with age.

In terms of applications, as opposed to applicants, SCITTs had the highest percentage in the ‘Placed’ and ‘Offer groups, at 36% compared with 17% of applications for School Direct Salaried places. This percentage fell to just 14% for these School Direct Salaried courses in the secondary sector. Higher Education primary courses had 33% in the ‘Placed’ and ‘Offer groups and 28% for their secondary courses.

These seem quite high figures in terms of applicants ‘Placed’ and ‘Conditionally Placed’ as in both cases this means an offer has been made to an applicant. I wonder how often more than eight out fo ten applicants are offered places on courses?

In the next post I will consider what these numbers mean for applications in individual subjects and whether the supply problem that has faced schools over the past few years has now been solved for September 2021?

Leave a Comment