Shortage fears on teacher training

Tes Editorial

APPLICATIONS FOR one-year postgraduate teacher education courses in Scotland remain worryingly low for some priority subjects in secondary.

Primary teaching remains healthy with around eight applications for each place.

Some 2,000 students have applied for around 1,000 secondary places at the five teacher education institutions. The two largest - Strathclyde and Edinburgh Universities - have more than two applications for each place but the smaller institutions appear to have more difficulties.

Janet Wright of the Teacher Education Admissions Clearing House said she was continuing to receive about five applications a day. "It's the quality of applications that matters," she said.

At Paisley University's base in Ayr, where there are 60 secondary places available, there were only 50 first-choice applications at the last count in mid-March. Isobel Kerr, assistant registrar and a member of the Scottish Office teacher recruitment scheme, said she had an "active file" of more than 200 students. Applications were often made to all five teaching institutions. "We always start with a full cohort," she said.

Douglas Weir, dean of the education faculty at Strathclyde, said: "As a big institution, a 2:1 ratio of applications to places is less comfortable than we would like."

Training institutions have approval from the Scottish Higher Education Funding Council to expand the number of places in postgraduate primary and secondary courses next session as existing staff reach retirement age over the next five years.

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