This story by Will Hazell in TES 26th April 2018

Recruitment shortfall continues to be worse in primary than secondary

The number of people applying to become teachers is down by 15 per cent on last year.

The latest figures from admissions body Ucas show that 28,530 people had applied for postgraduate teacher training by 16 April, compared to 33,730 people at the same time last year.

However, the new statistics show a continued improvement on previous months. Last month, numbers were 19 per cent lower than they had been in March 2017.

As with previous months, the system is facing a bigger shortfall in applications to be primary teachers than secondary teachers.

In England the number of applications to be primary teachers has fallen from 44,260 in April 2017 to 33,810 in 2018 – a 23.4 per cent decrease.

At secondary level, applications are down from 45,280 in April 2017 to 39,220 in 2018 – a 13.4 per cent drop.

Candidates can apply for up to three courses, meaning the figures for applications are larger than the number of applicants.

John Howson, visiting professor at Oxford Brookes University, and an expert on teacher recruitment, said that many secondary subjects are continuing to face a tough situation.

“There are at least seven secondary subjects where the April combined total of ‘placed’ students plus those ‘conditionally placed’ and ‘holding an offer’ are the lowest seen for this point in the cycle since well before the 2013-14 cycle,” he wrote in a blog.

He added: “Clearly, the TV advertising campaign isn’t working this year.

“Perhaps the [teacher] pay rise, when announced, will make a difference, but unless something does, the additional secondary pupils in our schools over the next few years are going to find that who will teach some of them will be an interesting question.”

1 Comment

  1. Derek Boyle on April 30, 2018 at 1:11 pm

    If you consider applicants and not applications this gives a better picture of the number of people in the system.
    The number of applicants (all states) is 28,530 this year against 33,730 which is a 15.4% decrease on last year.

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