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More teacher trainees needed just as applications fall

New Department for Education target reveals 6 per cent more trainees needed in 2017 than last year

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New Department for Education target reveals 6 per cent more trainees needed in 2017 than last year

Teacher training targets for 2017 published today reveal the extent of the gap between the demand for teacher trainees and applications.

The figures show the government’s target for postgraduate trainees is 1,600 higher than last year – but previous statistics show applications are falling.

The government estimates 30,847 postgraduate trainees are needed in September 2017, compared to 29,176 in 2016 – a rise of six per cent, according to the figures published today in the goverment's Teacher Supply Model.

But UCAS figures show that by April 2017 there were 33,730 people who had applied for teacher training, including undergraduate courses, a drop of six per cent compared to 36,040 in April 2016.

Split between postgraduate and higher education

The figures also show that there were 50,063 postgraduate places allocated to ITT providers for September 2017 and a further 6,672 undergraduate places.

Just over half of the postgraduate allocations (18,884) have gone to school-led training places with 18,121 going to higher education institutions.

“The number of initial allocations is much higher than the number of NQTs required, reflecting a number of factors: not all providers and School Direct lead schools manage to fill their places; not all trainees will complete the course successfully; and not all those that complete successfully will take up employment in the state-funded sector,” the publication states.

It adds that the a large part of the demand for new teachers comes from the anticipated growth in pupil numbers, but curriculum changes also affect numbers. The biggest increase in demand for postgraduate trainees is in history and geography, but there are decreases in some of the non EBacc subjects such as art and design, business studies, food, music and design and technology.

The figures come after recruitment for teacher training in 2016 slumped, with a drop of seven per cent compared to the previous year.

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