With the start of a new year, it is natural that people’s minds turn to the future.
And according to the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL), January is the month when people are most likely to consider becoming a teacher.
Data from the Get into Teaching campaign released today shows that January was the busiest month in the 2015-16 academic year, with just over 21,000 registrations of interest in teaching - including roughly 14,000 from people currently working in other fields.
More than 6,200 people aged 30 or over started initial teacher training in 2016-17 - the highest number of trainees aged 30 or over since 2012-13.
The NCTL also said its Get into Teaching website experienced the sharpest rise in traffic during the New Year period, with 400,000 unique web users visiting the site in January 2016 - higher than any month of the year.
Roger Pope, NCTL chair, said: “Naturally New Year marks a time of reflection and ambition setting, especially when it comes to jobs and careers.
“If people are not feeling fulfilled in their current role, they may wish to shake off the January blues by considering teaching and taking their skills and experience into the classroom.”
However, the NAHT heads' union said the government needed to do more to solve a “crisis” in teacher recruitment and retention, pointing out that eight out of 10 school leaders report difficulty with recruitment across all roles.
Russell Hobby, the NAHT’s general secretary, said: “Whilst January may well be the most popular month for people to consider a career switch into teaching, the government is still falling short in its duty to guarantee enough teachers of a high enough standard to match the growing school population.”
He added: “The answer to the recruitment crisis is staring the government in the face: we need a nationally coordinated approach to fill every vacancy with a high quality professional, and attractive terms and conditions to keep teachers in the profession for longer.
“The solution starts with reversing the £3bn of cuts that schools face and by using the new national funding formula to guarantee that the total education budget is sufficient before it is allocated to schools.”