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On the map QTS employment - London no longer paved with gold

Everyone knows that in recent years too many teachers have been trained. This is partly due to the Department for Education's smoothing of training targets to try to prevent dramatic swings in numbers, year to year. It is also partly because some courses have exceeded their targets as student recruitment became much easier when the recession started.

The DfE has now produced figures on how those gaining Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) in 2008, before the recession, fared in finding teaching jobs by March 2009.

These figures must be treated with caution, as some teachers may be working in institutions where they do not need QTS, such as some academies. Others work in FE or take a gap year. But, what is clear is that trainees in different parts of the country fared differently in terms of job opportunities.

Those who trained in Wales had the highest percentage not in service - more than one in three of those gaining QTS in 2008. This compares with only 17 per cent who trained in the East of England or the East Midlands. The figure for London is 29 per cent without recorded teaching jobs.

Lower staff turnover, the advent of Teach First and the development of the academy programme have all had an effect on the demand for teachers in the capital, especially in some secondary subjects.

Early indications for General Teaching Council registrations suggest that the 2009 QTS cohort may have fared no better. In some areas, trainees struggled more than their 2008 predecessors in finding a teaching job.

The message, at least for those in the worst-affected areas, seems to be stay as flexible as possible and consider relocating. But the streets of London are no longer paved with gold. By 2014 it might be a different story.

John Howson is the director of Education Data Surveys, part of TSL Education.

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