Is that a fact...?
Even this new figure of returners must be viewed with some caution since only about 5,000 teachers were not teaching at all in the previous year, plus a small number of retired teachers who returned to full-time posts. Some 4,600 were teachers switching from part-tim to full-time teaching. The remainder were supply teachers taking full-time posts and those switching from further education colleges or special schools.
There is further disappointing news in the analysis of teachers starting part-time work. The number of returners also fell, from 4,400 to 3,700, though the number of retired teachers prepared to return to work part-time rose from 1,200 to 1,300.
The latest figures also show a drop in the number of first time entrants to teaching in 1998-99, down by more than 1,500 to 20,100. Even so, this was the third highest number of new entrants since 1983.
All these are provisional figures but they emphasise that recruitment to teacher training must remain buoyant. The Returners Cavalry Regiment is unlikely to ride to the rescue.