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Muted response to TV recruiting ads

Television adverts portraying the joys of working in the classroom have failed to attract a dramatic flood of new recruits to teaching.

Figures published this week by the Graduate Teacher Training Registry show applications for university-based courses are 1 per cent down compared to this time last year. However, more graduates are attempting to secure places on some shortage subject courses, according to the GTTR.

Applications for maths courses are up by more than a quarter since September, when the new Teacher Training Agency adverts were introduced.

General science courses have recorded a hike of 12 per cent and music courses are up by 5 per cent. But applications to modern language courses, one of the key focuses of the pound;12 million advertising campaign, are down as much as 9 per cent.

In all, 33,416 people have applied to start a primary or secondary school teaching course this September compared to 33,739 last year.

The agency's latest billboard and TV campaign features images of children in the classroom, accompanied by slogans such as "work with the finest raw materials in the world" and "work with the most exciting people in the country".

Last month one of the television adverts provoked a string of complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority over claims that teaching is "better than any anti-aging cream".

Recruitment analyst Alan Smithers, from Buckingham university, said: "It is encouraging that application numbers are so high in maths, in particular, and I hope that the trend is maintained throughout the rest of the year.

"But we are coming from a position of massive shortages a few years ago and there will be a long way to go before numbers hit anything like the required levels."

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