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Language places remain unfilled

TEACHER-training courses for primary linguists still have vacancies even though most other primary courses are full.

The Government has almost doubled to 365 the number of training places for primary languages starting in September, as it wants all primaries to offer pupils a foreign language by 2010.

But latest figures from the Graduate Teacher Training Registry show that seven of the 39 postgraduate certificate in education primary courses still with vacancies are for French, Spanish or modern languages. Another four are for Gaelic and Welsh. Nearly half of all courses with vacancies are run by school-centred training partnerships.

Overall, however, recruitment news is good, even in shortage secondary subjects. Applications for primary training rose almost a fifth on this time last year to 18,623, and increased 14.4 per cent in secondary to 18,932.

Secondary maths continues to recruit strongly, with applications up more than a third to 1,441. Science rose overall, although chemistry is down slightly, and a 24 per cent increase for physics translates into only 52 extra applications due to low starting numbers.

Increases in Spanish and German applicants are compensating for a fall in French-speakers applying for secondary language training, but music is down 12 per cent.

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