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More new teachers make it into class

John Howson analyses the ups and downs of staff supply and demand

THE PROPORTION of newly-qualified teachers joining the profession has jumped but is still lower than five years ago, according to the latest government statistics.

Figures for those students who completed their training as teachers in 1997, show 72 per cent had found full or part-time teaching posts by March 1998. This is up from the 1997 rate of 66 per cent but slightly down from 73 per cent in 1995.

Of those who trained in London, only 70 per cent entered teaching, although this figure is higher than in the previous year.

It is not known whether these NQTs are still looking for work, have decided on another career or are teaching overseas.

In London, for example, schools were in search of more than 900 teachers in January 199 and 1,210 new, London-trained staff were not in work. There were also more than 1,400 occasional teachers working in London at that time.

These days, there are more PGCE students than new BEds or other university graduates entering teaching. In 1997, just over 10,500 graduates completed teaching degrees compared to more than 17,500 PGCEs. More than 75 per cent who completed courses were women. Many of the remaining NQTs may have entered teaching since the figures were compiled, as vacancies occurred during the year.

Meanwhile, older trainees remain less likely to get a job than younger NQTs. More than a third over the age of 35 were not in work in 1997 and the figure rose above 40 per cent for men.

John Howson is a visiting professor at Oxford Brookes University. E-mail: int.edu@lineone.net

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