This morning the Department for Education published new statistics on initial teacher training for 2017-18.
Here are three things they tell us:
- There has been a drop in the number of qualified teacher status (QTS) awards made to overseas teachers Professional recognition and the award of QTS, with no requirement for further training, is available for two groups of overseas trained teachers: those qualified in the European Economic Area, including Switzerland, and (since 2012) those qualified in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States. The ITT statistics show a drop in the number of QTS awards to teachers in both groups, which could indicate that fewer international teachers are coming to work in English schools. Among EEA countries, there were 4,690 QTS awards in 2016-17 – a 2 per cent drop from 2015-16, when there were 4,795. Three countries account for 10 per cent or more of QTS awards made to EEA countries, and all saw their figures drop. Spain had 1,962 awards (a 1 per cent decrease on 2015-16), Greece had 682 (a 19 per cent drop) and Poland had 481 (a 12 per cent decrease). But countries outside Europe experienced a bigger drop, with the number of QTS awards falling by 16 per cent from 2,030 in 2015-16 to 1,715 in 2016-17. Australia had a 7 per cent decrease, the US and New Zealand experienced drops of 2 per cent, and Canada had a huge 33 per cent fall in its QTS awards. According to the DfE, the larger Canadian decrease “might reflect changes in the length of ITT training in Ontario in recent years".
- The share of teachers on school-led ITT has fallen back There has been a seemingly inexorable shift from university ITT to school-led routes in recent years. In 2013-14, the share of postgraduate trainees in the school-led route was 33 per cent, rising to 44 per cent in 2014-15 and 52 per cent in 2015-16 (Teach First trainees were included for the first time this year – without them the figure stood at 46 per cent). According to today’s statistics, there were 56 per cent on school-led routes in 2016-17, but the provisional figures for 2017-18 suggest this has fallen back to 53 per cent. The proportion of postgraduate new entrants to universities, meanwhile, increased from 44 per cent to 47 per cent between the two academic years.
- The biggest volatility is in geography, biology, religious education and drama These were the four subjects with the largest change in terms of performance against their recruitment target: In 2016-17, geography recruited 15 per cent more teachers than it needed, according to its recruitment target. But in 2017-18, recruitment was 20 per cent under target. While the number of new entrants increased by 37 per cent, the target was 97 per cent higher, reflecting a large projected need for more geography teachers. Biology saw a 13 per cent over-recruitment in 2016-17, dropping to a 14 per cent under-recruitment in 2017-18. The number of new entrants decreased by 23 per cent, against a target that increased by 1 per cent. Under-recruitment in RE worsened from 20 per cent in 2016-17 to 37 per cent in 2017-18. The number of new entrants decreased by 7 per cent, against a target that increased by 18 per cent. Drama was 8 per cent under its target in 2016-17, but fell even further to 24 per cent under-target in 2017-18. The number of new entrants decreased by 18 per cent against a target that decreased by 1 per cent.