Applications to primary postgraduate teacher training courses are 6.3 per cent down in March, compared with the previous year.
However, applications for secondary teacher training courses were up slightly, by 1.8 per cent compared with the same period in 2018, according to figures released today by Ucas, the universities' admissions service.
Primary recruitment appears to have slowed further since January when Ucas figures showed a 4 per cent fall.
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The steeper fall in March 2019 saw 29,650 applications compared to 31,660 in March 2018.
Comparative figures for secondary courses were 35,380 this year and 34,760 in 2018.
Each would-be teacher can make up to three applications, meaning application numbers are higher than the numbers of people applying.
Overall 24,870 people have so-far applied to start postgraduate teacher training courses this year, down from 25,140 at the same time a year earlier.
Recruitment to secondary teacher training courses in science subjects and mathematics all showed small increases in March 2019 against the 2018 position.
There were 4,120 applications for mathematics teaching courses against 4,020 in March 2018.
For science subjects the comparative figures were: physics (960 applications up from 900); chemistry (1,300 applications up from 1,150); biology (3,180 applications up from 2,710) and computer studies (890 applications up from 790).
Design and technology courses – including those specifically in food, product design, system and control and textiles – saw an increase in applications over the year from 650 to 730.