This story by Helen Ward on TES on 30th August 2018:

Applications to train to teach physics are down by more than a fifth

The number of people who have applied to begin teacher training courses this autumn has fallen by 2 per cent compared to this time last year.

The data published today by admissions body Ucas shows that by 20 August this year, 44,010 people had applied for teacher training, compared with 45,010 last year.

But there is a 10 per cent drop in the number of would-be trainees who have had their place confirmed. At this time last year 14,310 candidates had been placed but this year just 12,950 have been – possibly due to problems with booking the skills test which trainees must pass before they begin their courses.

Last week, the Tes reported that teacher training providers were concerned that the situation appeared to be particularly bad in the north west and west Midlands – but the Department for Education said that there was no backlog of candidates waiting to take the skills test.

Today’s data shows there were 18,210 candidates with conditional places in August, meaning the provider is waiting for certain conditions such as passing the skills test, to be met, before confirming the place. At the same time last year, just 15,470 candidates were in this position.

The overall figures are an improvement on July’s data, which showed a month-on-month drop of 4 per cent.

But some subjects have seen much larger falls than average – with the overall number of applications down 21 per cent in physics, nine per cent in chemistry and six per cent in maths.

The figures come as a new report from the Education Policy Institute shows that in some parts of the country just one in five physics teachers hold a relevant degree.

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