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Teacher training targets missed in most secondary subjects

Official statistics show fewer than half of physics teacher trainees needed were recruited

Classroom Discussion Editorial

Official statistics show fewer than half of physics teacher trainees needed were recruited

Teacher training targets for 2018 have been missed in all but four secondary subjects, according to statistics published today.

The overall number of people starting teacher training in 2018 has risen. There were 29,255 new entrants to postgraduate initial teacher training courses in September 2018, compared to 27,145 last year.

But the government missed its targets in all secondary subjects except PE, biology, English and history.

Fewer than three-quarters of the trainees required were recruited in computing (73 per cent), maths (71 per cent), physics (47 per cent) and across the non-EBacc subjects (65 per cent) - with just 25 per cent of the design and technology trainees needed taken on.

New entrants to postgraduate initial teacher training by subject, as a proportion of TSM targets, academic year 2018 to 2019.

Primary recruitment exceeded its target.

The statistics show that there were also 5,335 trainees who started undergraduate teacher training courses this year.

James Noble-Rogers, executive director of the Universities Council for the Education of Teachers (UCET), said: “These results are a great cause for concern. The government has yet again missed its training targets, which will mean that schools will continue to struggle to recruit the teachers they need.

"Although part of the reasons are demographic, the government must take some of the blame for the crisis because it destabilised the teacher supply base as part of Michael Gove’s assault on university teacher education providers in the years immediately following the 2010 general election."

Nick Gibb, school standards minister, said: “The fact that more than 34,500 new trainee teachers started teacher training courses this year – over 2,600 more than in 2017 – despite a competitive labour market shows that teaching continues to be an attractive career for able graduates.

"This includes the highest number of new postgraduates since 2011-12, and the quality of entrants remains high with 19 per cent holding a first-class degree."

He added that the government is preparing to launch its recruitment and retention strategy.

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