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Numbers of trainee FE teachers with SEND specialism rockets

The latest Education and Training Foundation (ETF) report on Initial Teacher Education (ITE) shows a massive increase in the numbers with special educational needs and disability (SEND) specialism

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The latest Education and Training Foundation (ETF) report on Initial Teacher Education (ITE) shows a massive increase in the numbers with special educational needs and disability (SEND) specialism

The number of trainee FE teachers with SEND specialisms has increased by a factor of 12 in the space of four years.

The Education and Training Foundation (ETF) has published its fourth annual report examining the provision and take-up of Initial Teacher Education (ITE) in the FE and skills sector.

The data shows that in 2012-13 there were just 20 trainee teachers who took up SEND subject specialist provision, just 4 per cent of the total for the academic year.

The latest available data shows that in 2015-16 there were 254 SEND specialists, a third of the total of training for subject specialist provision – more than numeracy and just shy of literacy/English for speakers of other languages (ESOL). There was an increase of 67 per cent from the previous year of the numbers undertaking SEND specialisms.

Intelligence for policy makers

Overall the number of ITE learners undertaking the specialist diplomas in literacy, numeracy and supporting learners with SEND has increased steadily between 2012-13 and 2015-16. The report notes that this is in contrast with the overall decline in the number of diploma and PGCE/Cert Ed learners over the same period.

The ITE report presents information on trainee teachers who attended ITE courses in the 2015-16 academic year. The report’s authors state that the purpose of the research is to provide intelligence that can support policy makers and the sector in making informed decisions and ensuring a sufficient supply of high-quality teachers and trainers are entering FE.

Charlynne Pullen, ETF head of data and evaluation, said the need to drive up teaching and training standards in the sector and bring future generations into the profession is why the report is important.

“The coming introduction of T levels means we need a high-quality workforce to make sure they are a success. The gradually falling numbers joining the profession continues to be a challenge, but providing this data allows the whole sector to clearly identify and address both current and future trends or changes”.

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