Maths cash proves good solution;Briefing;Hot data

17th September 1999 at 01:00
THIS autumn there is some good news on teacher-training numbers. The Government and the Teacher Training Agency will be pleased to see increases in applications in several shortage subjects.

The biggest increases, albeit from last year's low numbers, are in maths and sciences. These are the subjects where Department for Education and Employment intervention last November resulted in the re-introduction of cash payments to applicants. These payments supplement the TTA's own support scheme, operated by course providers.

Other subjects where applications are higher than last year include information technology, music and geography. Music has done especially well this year with applications up by nearly 20 per cent. Geography is back to the application levels of 1996, after recruiting poorly last year.

Some subjects are still attracting fewer applications than last year. Foreign language PGCE courses, where the Prime Minister has announced that additional support will be available for students starting in 2000, are some 5 per cent below application levels for this time last year, and the worst for at least six years. Other subjects where applications are still behind last year's include English, history and art.

Apart from art, these subjects still attract enough students to ensure that all places will be filled, fortunately. But one might question a recruitment strategy that places a premium only on certain subjects.

John Howson is a visiting professor at Oxford Brookes University. Email

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today